Saturday, August 4, 2018

...and Then My Brilliant Season Comes Crashing Back Down to Earth

Location: Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Chaiyaphum
Date: Friday 27th July, 2018
Habitat: Forested ponds/swamp and marshy areas

Well, it had to come to an end. My amazing season of seeing new species for my records (22 so far) had to come to an end... and it did... with a bump! Like the previous week, it had been pouring down all week but I was determined to see L. elegantissima again, get a few improved shots and even finally catch the 2-3 species I see almost every time I visit the small streams but they are always whizzing past me and so a net is required (one of which I am sure is Macromidia genialis shanensis, but need to catch one with a net to confirm -- and get shots, of course). But the weather, and the dragonflies, had other ideas. It was pouring with rain and all the streams/river were heavily swollen and not really worth investigating (seriously dark and potentially dangerous). So, I visited the ponds in the hope to see something... but hardly anything was showing. Even the common species had other ideas. There were a few brighter moments in terms of the weather, but was mostly rain. However, there was a little light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of Dysphaea gloriosa, female... my first sighting of a female! Though it was great to see, it was high up on a wire and put my 400mm lens to the test! Other than that, it was just common species and I didn't even take that many. 

So, all good things come to an end... now I have to get back out there and start again. Hopefully, I can see a few more new species before the season is out!

My best photos of the day:

Orolestes octomaculata, hyaline male with a crooked abdomen... I have seen a few hyaline males this season.
Neurothemis fulvia, male
Cratillia lineata calverti, old female
Orthetrum glaucum, male
Trithemis aurora, male (can't remember the last time I photographed this species)
A very hungry female Acisoma panorpoides
Mr Lestes elatus
... Mrs Lestes elatus
Aciagrion hisopa, female... my fist sighting for some time.
Not the best photo in the world, but my first sighting of Orthetrum luzonicum copula
And my (sort of) highlight of the day... Mrs Dysphaea gloriosa toughing it out high up in the rain.
...and a little closer

A few oddities...
Macracantha arcuata... is there a better spider than this? It is so cool!
Any ideas on ID of this cicada?... it was about 2 inches in size at a swampy area

... and a beautiful leafhopper Thagria sp. (ID by Marcus Ng.)
...finally and interesting sign has popped up. This is now located where two motorbikes have been parked every time I have visited the place. I can't read it, but pretty much seems to be about big bears! Any translators out there?

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