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.