Monday, April 7, 2014

167. Drepanosticta jurzitzai Hämäläinen, 1999

Number: 167 
Family:  Platystictidae
Genus: Drepanosticta
Species: Drepanosticta jurzitzai Hämäläinen, 1999
Common name(s):Jurzitza's Shadowdamsel
Synonyms: N/A 
Habitat: Deep forest area of upland streams 
 Province(s) sighted: Khao Kitchacut NP (Chantaburi)
Sightings (by me): 2 males
In flight (that I have seen): April (2014) 
Species easily confused with: N/A
Towards the end of a very fruitful trip, I was making my way back down the nicely laid out path of the waterfall at Khao Kitchacut NP. Really tired with burning legs from 2 /12 days of walking in and around streams and slippery boulders, I almost fell into an old hollowed out log between levels 7-8. Amazingly it spooked a damselfly I had missed on the way up. I knew straight away that it was a new species. I also knew it was a new genus for me though I wasn't sure of the species. I saw him land about 5 metres away. I edged forward and set myself up. Perfect ... ready ... focus ... bollocks! A female P. khaosiodaoensis spooked it and it seemed to fly away. I searched four about 20 minutes in really dull territory and almost gave up. Then I thought, "Maybe he has returned to that log." Amazingly, there he was. Inside his log. Now he was happy for me to snap away though the lighting was terrible and it took me a long time to get anything different. Once I was happy I had got good enough photos I said goodbye to him and went in search of his girlfriend. I didn't find her, but I did spot a second male at another log close by. When I returned home, I did a little research and it was clearly Drepanosticta jurzitzai, a species that seems to be only known from that location (though this may have changed). According to Noppadon Makbun, it is also early for the species ... maybe why there where no females to be found. 
The male.
It is instantly recognisable with its blue dorsal patch covering S9-10. They are easy to get near and photograph too.






 I will return one day in search of the female, though I will probably go a little later in the year when they may well  be more abundant.
 

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