Sunday, February 27, 2011

26. Brachythemis Contaminata (Fabricius, 1793)

Number: 26
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Brachythemis
Species: Brachythemis Contaminata
Common name(s): Ditch Jewel, Asian Groundling, 
Asian Amberwing, Orange Skimmer, Common Amberwing
Thai name(s): แมลงปอบ้านผู้ปีกเปื้อนส้ม, แมลงปอบ้านส้มเหลือง
Habitat: Exposed ditches, drains, ponds and lakes (uplands & lowlands)
Province(s) sighted: Widespread (Khon Kaen); Nam Nao NP/environs (Petchabun);  Phu Kradueng, Phu Rua NP/environs (Loei); Widespread (Chiang Mai); Widespread (Chiang Rai); Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Khao Kitchakut, Khao Soi Dao (Chantaburi); Widespread Koh Chang, Trat environs (Trat); Pang Sida NP (Sa Kaew); Kabin Buri; Widespread (Kanchanaburi); large lagoon and a farmer's pond (Prachaub Khiri Khan).
Sightings (by me): Extremely common
In flight: All year
Species easily confused with: None

One of the most common species in the whole of Thailand in Brachythemis Contaminata. Every ditch, mud hole or body of water in the lowlands, you will find this species. It was one of the first dragonflies that I ever saw and I've even seen them in my garden where there is no water for a good distance.

The male
The males look really good with orange colouration to their wings. Their thorax and abdomen change colour slightly as it ages, from light brown to a more deep orange. 

They love nothing more than to bask in the sunshine and this one is doing just that.

The teneral male ...
This little fellow had just emerged early one morning at Phu Ruea. His colours were still not showing and his wings were still almost clear.

The female
The females are very similar to the younger males, yet they have colourless wings and their thorax and abdomen is a yellow/brown. This one was actually in my garden! The females become darker brown as they age (I will add photos when I get round to it). This one is a fairly young female.

If you ever visit a pond, ditch or bucket of water in Thailand you are sure to come across this species. They even like to follow you as you walk and hover in front of you. Can be seen all year, everywhere in the lowlands and many uplands places too.

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