Thursday, July 26, 2018

213. Risiophlebia guentheri Kosterin, 2015

Number: 213
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Risiophlebia
Species: Risiophlebia guentheri
Common Name(s): N/A 
Habitat: Forested swampy area
Provinces sighted: Krathing Waterfall (Chantaburi)
Sightings (by me): One male, one female
In flight: July
Species easily confused with: N/A

One of the reasons why the group trip was arranged was to see an incredible species that was recorded for the first time for Thailand just last year. Tiny and black (with yellow markings) and being at home in dull swampy areas, I actually missed it at first. Under heavy tree cover, the other Facebook guys were trying to point it out. They were all firing away and I still couldn't see it! Eventually, on a little stick, there it was: a tiny, dull species known as Risiophlebia guentheri. It is a rather peculiar species that obviously likes swampy areas and so far is only known from the one location in Thailand. Once I managed to get in a few decent photos in the gloom, I could see just how good it looked with its bulbous S1-2 of the abdomen and a curve to the remainder. Fortunately, for me (blind and stupid haha), it was fairly easy to approach. Once we made it back outside the swamp, a couple of the team were already happy in the fact that they, too, had found male and female! Aaarrrgh! They saw the female... and the lighting was much better outside. Amazingly, a second female was found and everyone managed to get in shots of both sexes, although the place was then shrouded in cloud as the rains moved in (you can see the rain on the female as I took photos before dashing for shelter).

The male
Identifiable by its diminutive size and that incredible bulbous section on the abdomen. Knowing how dark it was, I am very happy with these shots. 

The female
Similar to the male but has a more robust abdomen and the bulbous section is even more prominent (you can just see the rain on her abdomen). 

Many thanks to Noppadon Makbun for leading us to this species.

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