Sunday, July 23, 2017

194. Coeliccia nigrescens Laidlaw, 1931

Number: 194  
Family: Platycnemidiae
Genus: Coeliccia
Species: Coeliccia nigrescens 
Common name(s): N/A  
Synonyms: N/A    
Habitat: Upland Forested ditch   
Province(s) sighted: Khao Yao National Park (Nakhon Nayok) 
Sightings (by me): Rare (2-3 males, 1 female) 
In flight (that I have seen): May   
Species easily confused with: Coeliccia didyma didyma; Coeliccia didyma didyma

So, one trip in yielded nothing (Pala-U w/f). The next trip to Khao Yai and into Nakhon Nayok, did produce... thanks to November Rain Rain (Facebook name). Thanks to her kindness, I managed to find the rather elusive Coeliccia nigrescens. It is a species that has already been recorded at Nakhon Nayok and, as far as I am aware, one location in the south. However, I found it where I didn't expect it to be... along the edge of the road under the cover of tree cover and darkness. It seemed to be at home in the overflow bit that runs along side the road, but only in one short section. It was reported to be along a path and was commonly seen, both males and females. Unfortunately, I was greeted by torrential rain and seriously poor conditions. The path -- which I found -- was almost devoid of the species... I got a fleeting glimpse of a solitary male that retreated hastily back into the gloom. Fortunately, there were 2-3 males, plus a solitary female under heavy cover. However, with the horrible rain and gloom, photography was really tough. I managed to get some OK shots of the male and a record shot of the female, which will have to do for now. However, I know where it is now and will return in better weather for sure. It is very much like a Coeliccia sp. and has many of the same traits... the annoying speed at which it can retreat when you finally managed to spot one in the gloom and the way they hand from the tips of leaves. It is also incredibly like C. didyma but can be separated by the white appendages and doesn't have a blue patch on segments 9-10. Also, the markings on the thorax are slightly different. 
So, until I return, these photos will have to do.

The male
Very much like C. didyma but can be separated by the end of the abdomen.

The female
A record shot for now and really tough to separate from other females in the genus... thankfully males were around.

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