Monday, July 13, 2015

177. Indolestes gracilis expressior Kosterin, 2015

Number: 177  
Family: Lestidae  
Genus: Indolestes   
Species: Indolestes gracilis expressior 
Common name(s):N/A   
Synonyms: N/A   
Habitat: Forested marshy lake  
Province(s) sighted: Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Chaiyaphum   
Sightings (by me): Rare
In flight (that I have seen): July  
Species easily confused with: Indolestes inflatus

Just as I was clicking my heels at finding one new species for my records, I noticed another ... Lestes inflatus again. My old friend from Nam Nao which I discovered for Thailand (see above). But, wait. No! Surely this wasn't L. inflatus after all. I could see that the wings were clear (a key feature of L. inflatus is that the wings are a brownish colour), the legs were black and the appendages seemed different. I managed to get the best photos I could in the blustery wind and when I returned home I knew it was a new species for me and it actually turns out to be a new record for Thailand! It is Indolestes gracilis ssp. and was IDd by Noppadon Makbun (with thanks). He told me that Oleg Kosterin had recently described a new Indolestes gracilis subspecies from Cambodia and it is quite possibly that species or another very similar species. However, the only way to truly know is if I collect a specimen ... though that's easier said than done. I am going to return this weekend in search of the female and hopefully another male or two. It could even turn out to be a completely new species yet to be described to science ... watch this space. 

NOTE: Since recording this species, I FINALLY managed to track down a second specimen following around eight further trips and got solid shots of the appendages. It confirms that it is, indeed,  Indolestes gracilis expressior Kosterin, 2015. It also highlights just how rare this species is!

2016 specimen playing dead:

The appendages (added 2016):


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