Monday, October 27, 2008

Aeshnidae Larva I

I went to a swampy pond in the Bangi Forest Reserve yesterday to catch some tadpoles. To my surprise, I spotted many aeshnid larvae (see photo below), and most of them are in the size range of 2-3 cm. These larvae have similar appearence, therefore, I think they are from the same species. Five aeshnid species have been recorded in Bangi Forest Reserve (Click here to see the checklist for Bangi Forest Reserve):

Anax guttatus (Burmeister, 1839)
Anax panybeus Hagen, 1867
Gynacantha basiguttata Selys, 1882
Gynacantha bayadera Selys, 1891
Gynacantha subinterrupta Rambur, 1842

To my own judgement, these larvae do not seem to be Anax species. Therefore, they could be one of those Gynacantha species. I am not good at larva identification. Anyway, I caught a few of them for rearing in hope to get the correct identification.

the black colour bar is 1 cm in length

Libellulidae - Diplacodes nebulosa

Libellulidae - Diplacodes nebulosa (Fabricius, 1793)

Diplacodes nebulosa is a small size (hw 19 mm) dragonfly species. It is commonly found at exposed habitats, and it likes to hang around areas covered by short grasses and marshes. Diplacodes nebulosa is not that beautiful compared to other dragonfly species. The dark tips on both the fore and hindwings are distinctive to identify the species.

Megapodagrionidae - Rhinagrion macrocephalum

Megapodagrionidae - Rhinagrion macrocephalum (Selys, 1862)

Rhinagrion macrocephalum is another beautiful damselfly species from family Megapodagrionidae. It is not easy to bump into R. macrocephalum, and I only spotted it in forest of Perak state. I like its bright blue tail and light green strips on thorax.... absolutely gorgeous. Another equally gorgeous species of the family Megapodagrionidae is Rhinagrion mima. Both macropcephalum and mima are easily distinguished by the different colour on tail.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Platycnemididae - Larva

I have been a bit carry away with odonate larvae lately. I went to a pond in the UKM Bangi campus to do some sampling on odonate larvae, and I managed to catch this little larva (1 cm). This larva belongs to Copera vittata (they were many adult C. vittata hanging around the pond; and I didn't see any C. marginipes). The long finged gills of the larva are marvelous. You may view the adult of C. vittata at

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chlorocyphidae - Aristocypha fenestrella

Chlorocyphidae - Aristocypha fenestrella (Rambur, 1842)

Aristocypha fenestrella is one of the odonate species with wide range of altitudinal distribution (0-1700 m). I personally encountered this species at the altitude of 1500 m in Cameron Highlands. The iridescent wings are particularly gorgeous when it is in fly. The larva of A. fenestrella is beautiful with two gills (typical of family Chlorocyphidae) at the end of the abdomen.

larva of Aristocypha fenestrella

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Libellulidae - Tramea transmarina

Libellulidae - Tramea transmarina euryale Selys, 1878

Tramea transmarina is a large (hw 43 mm) beautiful red dragonfly species. The red colour is a bit dark. The wings are broad and the base of the hind wings has dark patch.

Chlorocyphidae - Libellago lineata

Chlorocyphidae - Libellago lineata (Burmeister, 1839)

Libellago lineata is a small (hw 17 mm) yellow damselfly species. Its wings are longer than its body. It is a common forest species occupying flowing streams. Libellago lineata likes to play around fallen wood in the stream. The female normally lays eggs at the fallen wood.

a male pearching on the fallen wood in a flowing forest stream

the female (bottom) is laying eggs courted by the male (top)

Libellulidae - Trithemis aurora

Libellulidae - Trithemis aurora (Burmeister, 1839)

Trithemis aurora is definitely a sexy (because it is pink colour) dragonfly species. There is only one dragonfly species with pink colour in the Peninsular Malaysia. Therefore, one may immediately pin point the species when encounter a pink colour dragonfly. However, the female T. aurora is rather dull with brownish yellow colour. Trithemis aurora is quite common in the Peninsular Malaysia, and it could be spotted at open ponds/lakes in gardens.

a male individual

a male individual

a female individual

Monday, October 6, 2008

Megapodagrionidae - Podolestes orientalis

Megapodagionidae - Podolestes orientalis Selys, 1862

Members in family Megapodagrionidae are always beautiful and elegant. Four species of Megapodagrionidae have been recorded in the Peninsular Malaysia. Podolestes orientalis is the largest in size (hw 28 mm) among the four species. It is easily recognised by its blue markings on its body. Podolestes orientalis is normally found at swampy ponds and small streamlets in the forest.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Libellulidae - Onychothemis testacea

Libellulidae - Onychothemis testacea Laidlaw, 1902

Onychothemis testacea is common in tropical Asia, however, it is rare in the Peninsular Malaysia. I have been on field on collecting and observing odanates for 4 years, I only encountered Onychothemis testacea once, and I must be extremely lucky then. Onychothemis testacea has beautiful unique bands on abdomen. The legs are strong with claws as typical of the genus Onychothemis.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Platycnemididae - Calicnemia chaseni

Platycnemididae - Calicnemia chaseni (Laidlaw, 1928)

Calicnemia chaseni is a strictly highland (600-1600 m) forest damselfly species. Its red colour body and eyes are particularly spectacular.

Coenagrionidae - Ceriagrion fallax pendleburyi

Coenagrionidae - Ceriagrion fallax pendleburyi Laidlaw, 1931

Ceriagion fallax is a beautiful yellow damselfly species. It occupies swampy areas of forest. It has been recorded at altitude as high as 1450 m. Ceriagrion fallax is uncommon to lowland forest.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Platycnemididae - Copera vittata (Red Legs)

Platycnemididae - Copera vittata (Selys, 1863)

Copera vittata is a variable species with different forms of colour on legs. There are forms of yellow and red legs in the Peninsular Malaysia. Copera vittata from Cameron Highlands has red legs. Click here to see the yellow leg Copera vittata.

Reg leg form of Copera vittata

News - Sampling at Cameron Highlands

Rory Dow, Alex Ng and I went to Cameron Highlands for Odonata sampling two weeks ago. I quite like the pleasant cold weather for field work, no annoying mosquitoes and leeches. However, we had to bear the cold nights sleeping in forestry quater at Tanah Rata. We covered areas at altitude 600-2000 m - a lot of hard work of climbing up steep forest streams. We encountered a few highland species including Calicnemia chaseni, C. rectangulata, Ortherum trinagulare, Aristocypha fenestrella (also found at low land) etc. We will produce an Odonata checklist for Cameron Highlands as soon as we have the data sorted out.

Rory (left) and Alex (right) walking along a forest stream.

Rory is submerging himself in a swampy pond looking for dragonflies.

One day we carried out our sampling at Gunung Berinchang (the peak is 2031 m high). We started from the peak by walking all the way down to the foot hill - a total of 9 km of distance. It was indeed a tiring walk...... but I managed to snap a few nice views along the walk.

view of the surrounding areas from the peak of Gunung Berinchang.

the tea plantation at Gunung Berinchang is spectacular.

Lestidae - Orolestes wallacei

Lestidae - Orolestes wallacei (Kirby, 1889)

I was extremely delighted to bump into Orolestes wallacei in Cameron Highlands. Orolestes wallacei is a large species for family Lestidae with a size of hw 32 mm. It is normally found at swampy forest. In Cameron Highlands, O. wallacei was recorded at an altitude of 750 m. Orolestes wallacei normally pearches with wings spread and hangs under leaves and branches of trees.