Sunday, July 19, 2015

178. Macromidia rapida Martin, 1907

Number: 178   
Family: Corduliidae   
Genus: Macromidia   
Species: Macromidia rapida 
Common name(s):Common Shadow Emerald  
Synonyms: N/A   
Habitat: Heavily shaded forest river  
Province(s) sighted: Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Chaiyaphum   
Sightings (by me): Rare 
In flight (that I have seen): July   
 Species easily confused with: -
Well, another trip to Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary has yielded yet another species for my personal records and another rare one to boot. Towards the end of a long and tough day following the length of the river without much reward, I decided to traipse further inside a covered stretch along the edge. It was seriously quiet, with only a few robber flies and moths punctuating the silence. Then, right at last knockings (well, about 3.00pm to be precise) as I was contemplating calling it a day as you have to leave by 4.00pm, I saw a small shadowy figure hiding deep under cover. I couldn't even be sure it was a dragonfly at first and had to take 3-4 photos just to see. With that, I knew it was new for me. My nerves got the better of me, and I slipped down the banking and into the water. It had gone. Surely. I gingerly made my way back up the banking to the same place and amazingly, it was still there. This time, I was more cautious. However, I couldn't get the right shot as the appendages were blocked by a massive piece of bamboo. I had to take off all my bags and crawl through the thick bamboo, tearing my clothes and slashing my skin in the process. Even then, it wasn't quite right. I nudged the camera forward, followed by my weary body and I was kind of suspended by bamboo and other plants holding on to me for dear life. Finally, I managed to fire off a couple of decent shots. Surprisingly, once I freed myself once more, I managed to catch him with my fingers and got a few shots of the appendages before releasing him back into the gloom. When I got home, I did a little research and it turns out to be Macromidia rapida, a species only recorded once before in Thailand and was recorded at the same place. So another very rare species indeed for Thailand.

Now in hand (but armed with a 180mm lens, I couldn't get the full body in)

The distinct yellowish-black appendages

... and the genitalia just for good measure.

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