Sunday, October 20, 2013

161. Matrona nigripectus (Selys, 1879)

Number: 161
Family: Calopterygidae
Genus: Matrona
Species: Matrona nigripectus
Common name(s): N/A
Synonyms: N/A
Habitat: Montane  streams
Province(s) sighted: Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai)
Sightings (by me):  Uncommon
In flight (that I have seen): October (2013)
Species easily confused with: Neurobasis chinensis chinensis

A northern species that I have always wanted to see and one that is simply divine, is Matrona nigripectus. My chance came recently to go to Chiang Mai (where it can be found). Though I didn't have that much time to search, I knew where it could be (thanks to Noppadon Makbun). Looking at references and pictures, however, I couldn't spot the difference between that species and N. chinensis, a similar-looking but common species, though no less beautiful. It looks almost identical on small online photos. Noppadon explained that in the field the wings are darker and broader ... then he let me in on a secret. Wait for it to fly. The inside of the wings are black and irredescent blue (N. chinensis is bright green with black tips). I began my search and, amazingly, on a seriously quiet and wet day, I found a male hiding under a wooden footbridge and he allowed me to snap away; even get some shots of him with his wings opening (hopefully this will help anyone else trying to see the difference between the two species). In all honesty, when you see the two species together (they live side-by-side) it is easy to separate them, as M. nigripectus is bigger all-round and the green colouring of the abdomen is much brighter in my opinion. So, even though I only saw this species and didn't even get to spot the female, I am well-chuffed (meaning 'very happy' in Northern English dialect). And who wouldn't be spotting a beautiful creature like this?

The male.

And why it's so beautiful ...

I also managed to get a full shot though not as clear (only the wings are focused - but remember you have only a second or so to capture this) ... you can see little squares in the patternation. Stunning, it really is!

If you visit Chiang Mai late in the year (October to December), you MUST visit this species at Doi Suthep - but tell me where the females are!

No comments:

Post a Comment