Wednesday, May 9, 2018

195. Coeliccia albicauda (Förster in Laidlaw & Förster, 1907)

Number: 195  
Family: Platycnemididae
Genus: Coeliccia
Species: Coeliccia albicauda
Common name(s): Yellow-tailed Forested Damsel
Synonyms: N/A    
Habitat: Forested stream  
Province(s) sighted:Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary (Narathiwat)
Sightings (by me): Uncommon (7-8 males) 
In flight (that I have seen): April   
Species easily confused with: Coeliccia didymaCoeliccia nigrescensCoeliccia sp. (undescribed species) Coeliccia kimurai 

One species I should have come across whenever I visited the western part of Thailand is Coeliccia albicauda. However, until my last trip it had always eluded me for some reason. At Hala-Bala, however, I noticed a small C. loogali-sized damsel clinging on to a leaf on the ground along a dark and dingy trail. I managed to get a few shots away and then realised that it was in the bag! However, it proved to be an absolute nightmare to get anything that resembled a decent shot... and there was no way that I was settling for a record shot after waiting so long to see it. So, many, many, many attempts later I managed to get what I would deem pretty decent shots (to say that I was on my arse in a muddy puddle in poor lighting trying to take a photo of a dark needle over a muddy ditch). Still, they turned out OK in the end. I managed to spot a few more males during the trip but each and every one seemed to prefer darkened areas almost on the deck. I managed to get a glimpse of a female but it shot off before I could get any shots off.

The male

A typical pose while trying to get the right shot away (you can see the puddle it liked)...
*Photo of me courtesy of Sum Nara Nara (our awesome guide for the trip)

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