Saturday, January 31, 2015

171. Indolestes anomalus Fraser, 1946

Number: 171
Family: Lestidae
Genus: Indolestes
Species: Indolestes anomalus
Common name(s):N/A
Synonyms: N/A
Habitat: Forested Pond
Province(s) sighted: Nam Nao National Park (Petchabun); Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (Chaiyaphum) 
Sightings (by me): Rare (though locally abundant)
In flight (that I have seen): January-August
Species easily confused with: Indolestes birmanus, Indolestes inflatus

Yesterday, I went on a short trip along with my brother, Paul, who was birding. We took in the usual Helicopter Pad Lake which was decidedly quiet. Then moved onto a few trails within Nam Nao National Park. Again, it was seriously quiet, though I did spot a few nice butterflies (which I will soon be posting on my new website (which can be seen here). The trail was around 4-5 kms, though it seemed longer. There were a few ponds and drying puddles along the way, one which housed several Lestes elatus and a surprisingly large number of Ceriagrion olivaceum. Surprising as it is the first time I have seen this species within Nam Nao. At the end of the trail was a larger pond in an opening and was surrounded by reeds. Quietly making my way through the reeds, I saw a very small and dark teneral specimen. Though it was hard to see in blazing sunshine, I could see that it was a female and that it was something different and the end segments were enlarged. I closed in and took a few photos. I knew straight away that it was Indolestes. And the only species from that genus I hadn't seen was Indolestes anomalus. I then saw a solitary male which looked very much like Indolestes birmanus ... and doubt started to creep in. It wasn't until I returned home that I could say confidently that it was indeed I. anomalus, and has been confirmed by Noppadon Makbun, who said he saw this species at Nam Nao in June - possibly at the same place. So, though quiet, I was jumping for joy at spotting a rare species and completing the known Indolestes species of Thailand ... unless I can find another! I will return in March or April in search of fully-mature specimens, which I believe are a blueish colour, similar to Indolestes inflatus, which I discovered at the large lake before.

NOTE: Since first recording this species, I have returned to the same location where I saw literally hundred of specimens and copula at every pond along the trail. Additionally, I managed to spot a healthy number of specimens at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary on my last trip (21.v.16).

The Male

Teneral male

 The female 
Similar to the male, but dull and boasts bulbous end segments which gave away the ID

Teneral female

The copula

How many holes can you make in a stem?

... a lot more if you team up.


  1. So wierd and magic!
    Right now I realised an utmost need of seeing male anal appendages in dorsal view of Indolestes birmanus, which have never been figured. (Because I have to compare my Cambodian male). I came to you site to see if you have something dorsal of this species and discovered that your latest post was on Indolestes! Then:

    1. Could you kindly send me high resolution photos of I. birmanus which you have. Although neither of those you posted shows exactly the right angle, they could help me to see at least anything.

    2. I am sorry but I believe yours is not Indolestes anomalus. The main diagnostic feature of this species is a truly anomalous pterostigma which is nearly as short as high. Nothing like this on your photos. Other characters mentioned at the description are diagnostic, the species was described by a single female so information on appendaged was missing. Although Hamalainen & Pinratana, 1999 reported more specimens, as far as I know they were never figured and the male never described. I wonder how Noppadon could identify yours as I. anomalus? Please, ask him.

    3. Maybe decision was "what else if neither birmanus nor inflatus? - then anomalus". Then why not birmanus? Please, let me know.

    4. Most probably, you were puzzled by humeral spots on synthorax instead of a contiguous humeral stripe. I must say this character is variable in sympecmatinae and the related Indoleses gracilis from Ceylon may have a stripe (rarely), spots or nothing there.

  2. It was me, Oleg ))
    And my address is

  3. Maybe Noppadon has some important unpublished information on I. anomalus and its characters? Then it must be published, as well as other his important data.

  4. I am sorry by my emotional comments.
    Noppadon kindly sent me a paper where the pattern of I. anomalus is illustrated, and from three different populations, two in Thailand and one in Malaysia. But nevertheless I would say I am shocked by that paper! How they could illustrate the pattern, expression of which is greatly variable in Indolestes, but do not describe the still undescribed male and do not illustrate the appendages?! The appendages would show at least to which
    group the species belongs, to which other species it is closer. This is unknown until now. Why did not they say anything about the prerostigma, which Fraser considered the main diagnostic character?!
    Your photos correspond to this pattern but show 'normally long' pterostigmas. This means that either pattern is unreliable or the pterostigma length is unreliable. So the actual characters of I. anomalous are still to be revised. And those authors should have done this, having males from three different populations!