Wednesday, May 9, 2018

198. Zygonyx ida Hagen, 1867

Number: 198  
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Zygonyx  
Species: Zygonyx ida 
Common name(s): N/A  
Synonyms: Pseudomacromia luxuriosus Karsch, 1893    
Habitat: Lowland forested river   
Province(s) sighted: Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, (Narathiwat) 
Sightings (by me): Rare (1 male) 
In flight (that I have seen): April    
Species easily confused with: Zygonyx iris malayana

A very rare species for Thailand that can be found at Hala-Bala didn't let me down. Zygonyx ida is known from the extreme south of Thailand and is clearly a species that is restricted by range (apparently locally common in Malaysia). However, even right on the border it almost eluded me -- as did a number of species I wanted to see. However, observing a number of fast-flying specimens (mostly Z. iris malayana) I was eventually drawn to a male that, well, just seemed smaller and did its own thing. Instead of flying high up it purposefully flew close to the surface of the river but patrolled constantly in the same way as its more common cousin. After a number of poor shots in flight I managed to get one that was good enough for an ID and it was indeed Z. ida!!! So, I settled down and reeled off a million shots until I managed to get a couple that were of a decent level (for my standards anyway). Amazingly, it landed right in front of me on a long stem of grass but flew off well before I could adjust the camera. Still, I am happy with the photos and hope to see it again one day. I am sure that is can be found elsewhere in Thailand but Hala-Bala seems like the best place right now.

The male

Very similar to Z. iris malayana but is noticeably smaller and has distinct white rings along the abdomen.