Monday, May 23, 2016

185. Anax guttatus (Burmeister, 1839)

Number: 185  
Family: Aeschnidae    
Genus: Anax    
Species: Anax guttatus 
Common name(s): Pale-Spotted Emperor   
Synonyms: N/A    
Habitat: Mid-upland small pond 
Province(s) sighted: Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (Chaiyaphum)  
Sightings (by me): Common (though photographing them is another story) 
In flight (that I have seen): May-October    
Species easily confused with: Anax indicus; Anax parthenope julius; Anax panybeus

I was stood in the middle of a shallow pond, bitten to death by horse flies, mosquitoes and leeches. It was an overcast area of the small pond with light fading fast. Suddenly, a large Anax sp. appeared from nowhere and started whizzing around the little pond desperately in search of a mate. This was my chance to add another Anax species to my list. However, it had to be the worst place to do it - it was too dull and enclosed. Worse still, a second male appeared and a million aerial battles ensued. However, I noticed that at one end of the pond, the wind would whistle through causing this big guy to stop momentarily. I edged around to the other side of the pond and set myself up. Basically, I sat in the pond with leeches digging into my arse. Still, I was going to get it this time. As I waited and waited, then I noticed a Lestes sp. to my right. I know that L. dorothea also lives somewhere at PK and turned towards it to see. It was L. elatus (I think). As I turned back Anax guttatus was right there in front of me, hovering as I had predicted. Perfect. As I lifted my camera, the wind dropped and it was off.... aaaarrrrggghhh! Missed it again. And this time it seemed to disappear. I was about to stand up and pull the leeches off my body when it swooped back down to the edge of the other side of the pond. I waited again and the wind picked up. He stopped, though a little further out. But I got my shots in and I am extremely happy with them. I know you can get better shots of dragons in flight, but I don't care. I know how hard I worked to get these ... and I finally did it! I managed to capture a rare photo of a very common species. Well, it's actually not that common where I live, though I do see it now and then, and it isn't rarely photographed, though I always find it impossible. Now I just need to find it in better lighting. Until the next time...