Tuesday, May 13, 2014

167. Paragomphus capricornis (Förster, 1914)

Number: 167
Family:   Gomphidae
Genus: Paragomphus 
Species: Paragomphus capricornis (Förster, 1914)
Common name(s):Yellow-banded Hooktail
Synonyms: N/A 
Habitat: Forested sandy stream
 Province(s) sighted: Pa La-U Waterfall (Pratchup Khirikhan), Ched Sao Noi Waterfall (Sara Buri)
Sightings (by me): Small number of males
In flight (that I have seen): May (2014) 
Species easily confused with: N/A

A second species I saw for the first time recently, is a supposedly fairly common Gomphidae - but one which has eluded me in over five years. Paragomphus capricornis is a medium-sized Gomphid with terrifically gruesome appendages. Its unmistakable appendages make it easy to ID. However, it is extremely skittish and is also difficult to spot as it perches on sandy areas or small pebbles on the ground. I saw 3-4 males early in the morning at the same location where I saw a solitary O. culminicola. By the time the sun was at full heat, most of them had vanished. I did also spot an ovipositing female, but the photos are too poor to show.
One the way back to Khon Kaen I made a quick stop-off at a forested stream in Sara Buri province, called Ched Sao Noi waterfall (or seven young girls waterfall). No idea why. The place was packed with hundreds of locals escaping the blistering heat (it was free to enter). I walked along the stream away from swimmers and eventually saw another Gomphid - you guessed it, another P. capricornis. So, none in over five years and then several at two different locations within a week. 

The male
Easily recognised by its appendages and position on the ground ...  if I were a female, I wouldn't want to be collard by those appendages anyway.  Would you?

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