Sunday, August 7, 2016

185. Ceriagrion pallidum Fraser, 1933

Number: 185    
Family: Coenagrionidae    
Genus: Ceriagrion   
Species: Ceriagrion pallidum 
Common name(s): N/A   
Synonyms: N/A    
Habitat: Forested pond (temporary)   
Province(s) sighted: Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (Chaiyaphum)  
Sightings (by me): Rare 
In flight (that I have seen): Early July - Mid-August    
Species easily confused with: Ceriagrion fallaxCeriagrion indochinense

A species I had been looking for at Phu Khieo WS for two years, has at last made an appearance. However, maybe I have seen it before, but simply overlooked it. At first glance it looks a lot like a young male C. indochinense or a young C. fallax (though I haven't yet seen this species at this location). However, luckily for me, it was actually the former species that helped me to ID it. Thanks to help and information from Noppadon Makbun, I knew it was similar to C. fallax but much paler. Then, yesterday, two male C. indochinense harried a slimmer much paler specimen into the reeds and it just looked different. I wasn't sure but following closer inspection and a few photos, it was in the bag: Ceriagrion pallidum was mine. It is exactly as the description and alongside C. indochinense, it is fairly easy to separate. Fortunately, I even managed to spot other males at different ponds and several females even made an appearance. Better still, this species is fairly easy to approach and not skittish like similar species in the genus. Now I just need to find C. nigroflavum (if it is actually now present in Thailand) to complete the "set" of known Ceriagrion species in Thailand, though there are more I am sure.

I would just like to add that I believe this to be more common and should be at different locations, though it is most definitely easy to overlook. Next time you see a pale specimen, don't simply pass it off as an immature C. indochinense or C. fallax. Take a closer look and you never know. 

The male

Here is a freshly emerged male, which I actually saw at the start of July, though I couldn't confirm it was correct until I found mature males. That said, it isn't really that different from the mature males, just even paler.

The female

Another, slightly paler still female

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