Thursday, December 31, 2009

Damselfly (24) - Prodasineura Collaris

Family : Protoneuridae
Common Name : Collared Threadtails
Status : Uncommon
Location : Upper Peirce

There are 4 Proidasineura species in Singapore namely Collaris, Humeralis, Interrupta & Notostigma). The blue marking on the head and thorax of Collaris and Notostigma look similar to me and I have difficulty identifying them. My guess is that this is a Collaris based on the white or blue marking on the tip of its tail. Again, I would appreciate it if someone could confirm it.

(Upper Peirce - 31 Dec 2009)

(Side view close-up - Upper Peirce, 31 Dec 2009)

Damselfly - ID unknown

This damselfly was spotted around the same area where I found the Hyalina. They look quite similar but the colour of the thorax is slightly different. My guess is that it could be a juvenile Hyalina. I would appreciate it if someone could help to confirm the id of this species.

(Upper Peirce - 2009)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dragonfly (17) - Risiophlebia Dohrni

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Triangled Small Percher
Status : Critically Endangered

Of Singapore's 124 recorded species of odonata, Risiophlebia Dohrni is one of the rarest. It is classified in the Singapore Red Data Book 2008 as a critically endangered species. This species can only be found in Upper Peirce. It is a relatively small size dragonfly with a unique unstraightened obdomen. Quite a cooperative species allowing me to take various shots.

(Upper Peirce - 21 Dec 2009)

(Upper Peirce - 21 Dec 2009)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Damselfly (23) - Libellago Aurantiaca

Family : Chlorocyphidae
Common name : Fiery Gem
Status : Rare

Location : Upper Peirce, Endau Rompin National Park

Libellago is the most unique genus in Singapore with its wings longer than the body. They are rare, beautiful and require pristine habitat. Their behaviour is fascinating too. There are only three Libellago species in Singapore checklist, one of which (Libellago Stigamtizans) is already extinct here.

(Upper Peirce - 7 Dec 2009)

Although Libellago Aurantiaca is less rarer that Hyalina (see my previous post), it is my most wanted species to photograph. I pariticularly like its vibrant colour of red and yellow and I have been searching for more than a year. So you can imagine how happy I was when I finally saw one at Upper Pierce, the same place where I shot the Hyalina. They love to perch lowerly, just above the water making it difficult to get a good angle. I only managed a good record shot.  I have visited this place many times subsequently but this beautiful damselfly could not be found anymore.

Afternote : I finally got an improvement shot of this species but in Singapore.  This was taken at a swift flowing stream at Endau Rompin National Park.

(Endau Rompin National Park - 3 Oct 2010)

Damselfly (22) - Libellago Hyalina

Family : Chlorocyphidae
Common name : Clearwing Gem
Status : Critically Endangered
Location : Upper Peirce

Libellago Hyalina is a very rare damselfly. Upper Pierce is the only place where this species has been sited. It is therefore classified as critically endangered species. According to Mr Tang Hung Bun, an expert in Singapore Odonata, the common name of this species should be Clearwing Gem instead of Hyaline Jewel which was wrongly used by some people.

Libellago Hyalina is a confusing species because it has several colour forms for both male and female. It is not clear how many colour forms they actually have. The images below are some colour forms captured so far. There could be other colour forms that we are not aware of.

(Male, steel blue form - 3 Dec 2009)

(Male, glowing purple form - 5 Dec 2009)

(Female, grey form - 5 Dec 2009)

(Younger Female, orange form - 3 Dec 2009)

(Younger female, brown form - 7 Dec 2009)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Damselfly (21) - Mortonagrion Arthuri

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Arthur's Midget
Status : Rare
Location : Pulau Ubin

This damselfly species was first spotted on 11 Sep 2009 during a macro outing at Pulau Ubin.  There were about 4 males and a female perching near the edge of the mangrove swamp.  I only managed some record shots of them as I did not stay long due to too many mosquitoes attacking me.

(Male - Pulau Ubin, 26 Oct 2009)

When I sent the images to Mr Tang Bun Hung for idenitification, he said that he has only seen this species in mangrove areas in Singapore. As for male Mortonagrion arthuri, he has only seen a specimen soaked in alcohol, collected in traps by Dr Patrick Grootaert in Singapore earlier this year.  Although he was confident with his initial indentification, upon his request, I bought him to Pulau Ubin on 26 Oct 09 to further study this species.  His identification is correct.

(Female - Pulau Ubin, 26 Oct 2009)

(Female close-up - Pulau Ubin, 26 Oct 2009)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dragonfly (16) - Pantala Flavescens

Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Globe Skimmer (or Wandering Glider)
Status : Common
Location : Wild Wild West, Hort Park

(Wild Wild West, 10 Oct 2009)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Damselfly (20) - Archibasis Melanocyana

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common name : Blue-nosed Sprite
Status : Rare
Location : Chestnut Ave

I went to Chestnut Ave to search for the unique Lestes Praemorsus Decipiens on 1 Aug 2009.  I did not find it but I saw this rare species instead.  I did not know that it was rare at that time and I did not make an effort to get some good shots.  Sadly, this place is destroyed and is under redevelopment for a condomium.

(Chestnut Ave, 1 Aug 2009)

(Chestnut Ave, 1 Aug 2009)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dragonfly (15) - Unidentified dragonfly

This cooperative dragonfly was spotted at Pulau Ubin. It perched on a twig about 20 metres from a seashore directly under the hot sun. This was my first time seeing this species. I searched the internet for its ID but couldn't manage to find. I had to email to Mr Tang Hung Bun to request his assistance. His initial indentification is that it is probably an aged female Pornothemis starrei. After consulting his friend, they are of the opinion that it could be a new discovery.

(Pulau Ubin - 12 Sep 2009)

On 26 Oct 09, I brought Mr Tang Hung Bun & 2 officers from National Parks to Pulau Ubin to search for this dragonfly as they need more inforation in order to confirm the ID.  Unfortunately, we could not find it at the location where I found this species previously.

(Side view)

(Dorsal View)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Damselfly (19) - Lestes praemorsus (隱紋絲蟌)

Family : Lestidae
Common name : Scalloped Spreadwing
Status : Uncommon
Location : Lornie Trail, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Chestnut Ave

Lestes Praemorsus is an uncommon species, first recorded in Singapore in 1997. It is known to be occured only in Macrichite Reservior. It is a medium-sized species which rests with its wings half-open. It has a unique hockey stick-shaped rather than straight obdomen.

(Chestnut Ave - 2 Nov 2009)

I went to Macrichite Reservior to search for this beautiful damselfly on 2 occasions but could not locate it. When Dairy Farm Nature Reserve Park was officially opened on 5 Sep 09, a picture of this mating damselfly was featured the next day in the Sunday Times. I went to Dairy Farm to try my luck and I was glad to have spotted a female perching just above the water at the Quarry. I could only take a record shot of it from a distance as we are not allowed to go down to the water. I hope it could perch in a better place during my next visit so that I could take an improvement shot.

(Lornie Trail - 14 Aug 2010)

I read that this species has since been found in several other places such as Pulau Tekong Reservior, Upper Seletar Reservior, etc. My friend, Eddy Lee, had recently photographed one at Chestnut Avenue.  He told me the exact location where he found this species and I am happy to get a slightly improvement shot of it.

I saw this species photographed by a new found friend, Federick Ho, at Lornie Trail.  He directed me on where to find this species.  I went there on 14 Aug 2010 and there were about 8 nos. perching lowly along the edges of Macrichite Reservior.  Got some shots but still plenty of rooms for improvement.

On 6 Sep 2010, I was happy to spot a mating pair where the female was laying its eggs into the water.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dragonfly (14) - Rhyothemis Phyllis

Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Yellow-Barred Flutterer
Status : Common
Location : Holland Woods, Chinese Gardens, Jurong Woods II, Kranji Nature Trail, Chestnut Ave, Lornie Trail

This is a common dragonfly species and is easily recognisable by it back and yellow markings on its wings. A beautiful dragonfly that prefers to perch on very thin leaves or stems making it quite difficult to photograph as a slight breeze would cause the perch to swing resulting in motion blur.

(Holland Woods - 22 Aug 2009)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Damselfly (18) - Prodasineura Humeralis

Family : Protoneuridae
Common Name : Orange-striped Threadtail
Status : Uncommon
Location : Chestnut Ave

Despite being a common species in Malaysia, this forest damselfly was recorded for the first time in Singapore at Chestnut area in Oct 2006. So I was glad to have spotted this uncommon  species at a stream along Chestnut Avenue Bicycle Trail on 4 Oct 2009. Not a difficult species to get close and it often returned to the same perch. But I observed that it preferred to perch very lowly just above the water surface of the fast moving stream making it tiring and difficult to get a good angle shot. The lighting was also not ideal as it usually chose a shaded perch. The colour of the male is generally dark brown from head to tail with some orange markings on its abdominal segment.

(Male - Chestnut Ave, 6 Oct 2009)

There were about 3 males in the steam when I revisited the place on 6 Oct 09. A female was spotted about 30 metres away from the stream. It has duller brown in colour with white marking on its abdomen. Initially, I thought it was a species that I had photographed before and as it was already quite late, I just took about 4 record shots and left. I regretted after I realised that it was a female of this species which reportedly is more uncommon than the males. I shall visit the place again to get an improvement shot.

(Female - Chestnut Ave, 6 Oct 2009)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Newly Emerged Damselfly - ID unknown!

Damselflies lay their eggs in the water. The eggs hatch within a few days and the larvae grow quickly. The larva (about 2cm long) live in water and can molt up to 15 times during its growth. When the larva is fully developed, it moves to exposed rocks or plants where it prepares for the final stage of molting. The emergence may take about one hour. The picture below shows a newly emerged damselfly (ID unknown) from the last molting. It was taken at the same place when I photographed my previous 2 species of damselflies. Its body was soft and the body colour was not normal yet. It was weak and could not fly properly. It usually takes a day or two for its skin and wings to harden.

(Bukit Timah Cycling Trail - 30 May 2009)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Damselfly (17) - Teinobasis Ruficollis

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common name : Red-tailed Sprite
Status : Rare
Location : Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, Venus Drive

This rare forest species was spotted on the same day as the Slender Midget (see previous post) around the same area. As I was focusing on the Slender Midget, I managed only a record shot of it. I went back to the same place again 4 days later hoping to get some improvement shots. My wish came true!  It was spotted it again a few months later but this time at Venus Drive.

(Bukit Timah Cycling Trail - 4 Jun 2009)

(Bukit Timah Cycling Trail - 4 Jun 2009)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Damselfly (16) - Amphicnemis gracilis

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common name : Will-o-wisp
Status : Uncommon
Location : Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, Upper Peirce, Upper Seletar Reservior

This is a swamp forest species and a new record for Singapore in 1997. It has very slim but long tail.

(Very Young Female, Orange Form - Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, 30 May 09)

The above image should be a very young female with strong orange thorax, yellow eyes & wings. When it gets a little older, it would change into bright red colours (see below). Eye colours would change too.

(Inmature Female, Red Form - Upper Pierce, 14 Nov 09)

When it is fully matured, it would change again into green-olive colour (see below). The males are less attractive with a dark metallic green thorax and it is less common than the female. I have yet to see one (see picture here).

(Matured Female, Olive-Green Form - Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail)

(Matured female closed up)

(Very young female, close-up)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Dragonfly (13) - Ictinogomphus Decoratus Melaenops

Family : Gomphidae
Common Name : Common Flangetail
Status : Common
Location : West Coast Park, Venus Drive, Lornie Trail, Rifle Range Nature Trail, Singapore Botanical Gardens

(Venus Drive, 25 Feb 2009)

This is one of the biggest dragonflies (about 12 cm long) that I have seen in Singapore, easily 4 times the size of Asian Pintail (see previous post). It is classified as a very common species but I would consider it relatively common as I have spotted them only 4 or 5 times so far.  I first spotted it at West Coast Park and recently at a slow-moving open stream in Venus Drive. It has a aggresive look maybe due to its huge size and certainly not an easy species to get close. The nearest distance that I was able to shoot was more than a metre away but fortunately, it often returned to the same twig where it perched.

On 13 Sep 2010, I finally got an improvement shot of this giant dragonfly.

(Singapore Botanical Gardens - 13 Sep 2010)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Dragonfly (12) - Acisoma Panorpoides (錐腹蜻蜓)

Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Asian Pintail
Status : Common

This is a relatively small species commonly found in shrub-dominated streams, canals, drains, ponds, etc. The female is greenish grey in colour while the male has black & white body with attractive blue eyes. I have seen them in the grass patches near Holland Woods and a steam near Segar Road sometime in Mid June 08. On both occasions, I had difficulty getting near to them and did not manage to get good shots. It was almost a year later on 9 May 09 when I revisited Holland Woods, did I manage to get some improvement shots of the male. It was at 7.30 am and this male was probably fast asleep allowing me to go very near to capture some close-up shots as well.

(Male - Holland Woods, 9 May 2009)

(Female - Holland Woods, 30 Mar 2010)

In Mar 2010, I was lucky again to find a sleeping female at Holland Woods.  It was pretty early in the morning and there were some dews on its body giving it a refleshing look. 

(Holland Woods - 20 Mar 2010)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Damselfly (15) - Copera marginipes [黃狹扇蟌]

Family : Platycnemidae
Common name : Yellow Featherlegs
Status : Common
Location : Chestnut Ave, Segar Road, Venus Drive, Jurong Woods II

This is classified as a common species but not many of us have seen or phogographed it in Singapore. The male has beautiful yellowish thorax, a black obdomen with white marking on it.

(Male - Chestnut Avel, 4 Aug 2009)

The male was first spotted at a stream near Venus Drive but I did not manage to get any shot as it was difficult to approach. Two males were seen perching in a drain near Segar Road few week later. I managed to get some record shots but was still unable to get closer to it. I finally captured a better shot when I found the male again at a stream along Chestnut Avenue Bicycle Trail. This time, the female which has an overall black thorax and obdomen was also found nearby.

(Female - Chestnut Avenue, 4 Aug 2009)

When I revisited the place again 2 day later, a juvenile was found. It has a unique overall white in colour.

(Juvenile - Chestnut Ave, 6 Aug 2009)

(Mating - Chestnut Ave, 26 Aug 2009)
My recent sighting of this species where the juvenile, male, female as well as 2 mating pairs were spotted at a small muddy stream at Jurong Woods II on 21 Aug 2010.
Dragonfly (11) - Orthetrum luzonicum [呂宋蜻蜓]
Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Luzon Skimmer

(Male, Segar Road - 3 Jan 09)

Female (Venus Drive, 19 Apr 08)

A common species which are usually found in exposed marshes, around ponds and open streams. Females are yellowish in colour while males have overall blue in colour including its eyes. Both are relatively easy to approach and photographed.

(Mating - Venus Drive, 6 Jan 09)

Note: The close-up shot of Diplacodes trivialis was removed on 25 Feb 10 as it was wrongly posted here.

Dragonfly (10) - Agrionoptera Insignis

Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Grenadier
Status : Common

This is classified as an uncommon species but I have seen them on many occasions such as Venus Drive, West Coast Park, Rifle Rifle Range Nature Trail, Jurong Woods, Jurong Woods II, Wild Wild West, etc. Generally,k, they are usually found in sluggish streams & shady drains.  Quite a common species in my opinion. 

(Male - Venus Drive, 25 Feb 2009)

The male has a a prominent red obdomen while the female is thicker and duller in colour.  A very cooperative species which usually perches around the same spot for a prolonged period.

(Female - Venus Drive, 15 Jan 2009)

(Male closeup - West Coast Park, 31 Jan 2009)