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)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Damselfly (14) - Ischnura Senegalensis [青紋細蟌]

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Common Bluetail
Status : Very Common
Location : Holland Woods, Kranji Nature Trail, Wild Wild West, etc.

(Mating with bright orange female - Holland Woods, 3 Mar 2008)

This is the 2nd most common damselfly species in Singapore. Similar to Bi-coloured damselfly, they are usually found around ponds, drains, lakes, canals, etc. The male is greenish blue in colour but the female occurs in several colour forms, including one with overall bright orange, another with dull olive colour and also one similar like the male.

(Mating with dull olive female - Holland Woods, 25 Jan 2010)

(Mating with a female that has similar colour of the male - Holland Woods, 7 Feb 2010)

Damselfly (13) - Ceriagrion Cerinorubellum [彩虹細蟌]

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Ornate Coraltail or Bi-coloured Damsel
Status : Very Common
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Holland Woods, Wild Wild West, Jurong Woods, Kranji Nature Trail, etc.

(Venus Drive, 16 Sep 2009)

This beautiful damselfly is the most common species in Singapore. They can be easily found in many of our parks particularly around ponds, drains, canal, open streams, etc. They could also be found in our forested areas. 

(Singapore Botanical Gardens, 29 Oct 2008)

They are relatively big in size and I have seen them, on a few occasions, attacking and feeding on other species of smaller damselflies. Both sexes have similar appearance except that the female has slightly darker marking.

Being common and having a colourful body, they are also the most photographed species. They are quite approachable and get a close-up shot is fairly easy.

Dragonfly (9) - Tyriobapta torrida

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Treehugger
Status : Common
Location : Venus Drive

Female - Venus Drive, 29 Dec 2008

This tree-hugging dragonfly is a common forest species. Both sexes likes to hug tree trunks especially the female. The males can be found perching in dark shady streams as well. The female is light brown in colour with nice pattern on its obdomen while the male has quite a difference appearance. It is dark blue in colour with large black patch at the base of both wings. When they are perching on tree trunks, it is quite easy to photograph as they always come back to the same spot. And with the tree trunks, one would not need to worry too much of the winds.

Male - Venus Drive, 29 Dec 2008)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Damselfly (12) - Devadatta Argyoides

Family : Amphipterygidae
Common Name : Malayan Grisette
Status : Uncommon
Location : Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, Dairy Farm Nature Park

Male - Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, 18 Feb 2009

This uncommon damselfly was first spotted on the same day as the Drepanosticta quadrata species less than 2 metres away. They seemed to be happy sharing the same territory although accasionally they bumped into one another and had a brief fight. Both will stay at a position for a long time and it was not a problem approaching them.  I read that, in Singapore, this species was spotted only at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve which is not true as 2nd sighting was at Dairy Farm Nature Park.  This species usually prefers to perch near clear forest streams.

Male - Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, 16 Feb 2009

 Unlike other species, it has quite dull colour from head to tail making it difficult to spot in dimly lit streams. The males are greyish in colour while the females are more towards brown in colour.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Damselfly (11) - Drepanosticta Quadrata

Family : Platystictidae
Common name : Singapore Shadowdamsel
Status : Uncommon
Location : Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, Upper Peirce

(Upper Peirce, 18 Nov 2009)

This is a uncommon damselfly that is generally found in primary forest near small streams. According to Singaporre references, this species is known only from Singapore. So I am happy to have spotted this local species perching lowly in a clear stream near Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. It was a narrow stream with lot of rocks it in making it difficult to set up my tripod. Fortunately, the water was shadow and clean and with reasonably good lighting, I managed to get some decent shots.  It is a cooperative species to photograph.  I spotted this species a few months later in Upper Peirce forest.

(Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, 16 Feb 2009)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Damselfly (10) - Argiocnemis Rubescens

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Variable Sprite
Status : Uncommon
Location : Venus Drive

This is another confusing species because of its age related colour variation.  According to Mr Tang, the  immature of both sexes, the segments 1-5 of the abdomen are orange to cherry red abdomen but this darkens with maturity and the coloration is predominately black and light blue.  This species has unique upper part of eye black with lower part green.  I am still not very sure how to differentiate the male from the female.

(Immature female - Venus Drive, 10 Jan 2009)

Immature female - The abdomen darkened from segments 5-7, segments 2-4 remain red. Colours of abdomen lighter than those of the young male, segments 8-9 do not become light blue.  Synthorax changes from light yellow to yellow and it does not change to light blue as in the young male.

(Mature female - Venus Drive, 13 Jul 2009)

Mature female - Abdominal segments 1-7 are black on dorsum, blue ventrally; segments 8-9 black with tiny patch of blue on the side of segment 8.  Synthorax blue and black with yellow; two narrow blue banks on the dorsum.

(Immature male - Venus Drive, 29 Dec 2008)

Immature male - Abdomen dark from segments 5-7, segments 2-4 remain red, while 8-9 change from light red to light blue. Synthorax is black and blue colour.

(Mature - Venus Drive, 18 Jul 2009)

Mature male - Abdominal segments 1-3 black ondorsum with blue ventrally; segments 4-7 black; segments 8-9 blue.  Synthorax blue and black.

(Immature female? - Venus Drive, June 2009)

My guess of the  above damselfly should be an immature female.  Please drop me a comment if you think otherwise.

(Immature male, close-up side view - Venus Drive, 29 Dec 2008)

(Mature female, close-up side view - Venus Drive, 28 Dec 2008)

Reference : A photographic guide to the Dragonflies of Singapore.

Dragonfly (8) - Trithemis Aurora (紫紅蜻蜓)

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Crimson Dropwing
Status : Very Common
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Segar Road, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Holland Woods, etc.

(Female - Holland Wood, 27 Dec 2007)

This Dawn Dropwing species is one of the most common dragonflies than can be found near ponds, open streams and lakes. They are very attractive looking and easily noticeable. The female has bright orange colour while the male is deep pink in colour. They are very quite easy to approach and usually not a problem to get some close-up shots.

(Male - Singapore Botanical Gardens, 6 Aug 2008)

(Male close-up - Venus Drive, 19 Feb 2008)

(Female close-up - Singapore Botanical Gardens, 27 Dec 2007)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Damselfly (9) - Onychargia atrocyana (藍彩細蟌)

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Shorttail
Status : Uncommon
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Holland Woods

(Female - Holland Woods, 2 Jul 2008)

This uncommon damselfly is also known as the Shorttail in Singapore.  Not too sure how it got this common name as I don't recall that it has shorttail!..  Anyway, the male looks almost black in colour while the female has brown coloured thorax with creamy white stripes. A mating pair was first spotted at Singapore Botanical Gardens more than half year ago. Unfortunately it was not well taken as I just started learning photography at that time. A few months later in Jul 2008, a female was found at Holland Wood and it was fairly cooperative allowing me to take some close-up shots. I have not seen them since then.

(Female close-up - Holland Woods, 2 Jul 2008)

(A record shot of a mating pair - Singapore Botanical Gardens, 21 Jan 2008)

Dragonfly (7) - Crocothemis Servilia (猩紅蜻蜓)

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Common Scarlet
Status : Common
Location : Holland Woods, Jurong Woods II, Sungei Buroh Wetland Reserve

(Male - Holland Woods, 8 Nov 2008)

The Crocothemis servilia dragonfly is quite widespread in Singapore. The male has an overall striking red colour while the female is yellow in colour. They are quite big in size and are commonly found in Holland Wood, Sungei Buroh Wetland Reserve, etc.

(Female - Holland Woods, 12 Oct 2008)

(Male - Holland Woods, 26 Mar 2008)

Damselfly (8) - Pseudagrion Microcephalum

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Blue Sprite
Status : Common
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Chinese Gardens, Lornie Trail

(Male - Lornie Trail, 23 Aug 2010)

This blue sprite damselfly is a beautiful species which is commonly found in ponds and open streams. The male is characterised by an overall bright light blue colour with black stripes on its thorax. The female is light brown with obscure greenish markings. The males are more commonly seen than the females.

(Female - Dairy Farm Nature Park, 25 Apr 2010)

Surprisingly, despite such a common and attractive species, I don’t see many of us photographing it. The reasons could be that they are not an easy species to approach and their habits of perching very lowly in the streams making it difficult to shoot. I personally have seen them many times in Singapore Botanical Gardens and Jurong lakes but have ignored them until recently when I decided to make an effort to shoot it when I spotted many of them in a small stream at Venus Drive. I was lucky to find a mating pair but didn’t have a good shot as the ground and lighting conditions were not ideal.

(Mating pair - Venus Drive, 13 Feb 2009)

(Male closeup - Venus Drive, 13 Feb 2009)

My recent sighting of this species was at Lornie Trail where there are plenty of them.  I was fortunate to capture a mating pair at the edge of the nearby reservior.

(Mating pair - Lornie Trail, 16 Aug 2010)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Dragonfly (6) - Orchithemis Pulcherrima

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Variable Sentinel
Status : A common forest species (Red form are more common than blue form)
Locatin : Upper Seletar Reservior, Upper Peirce, Sime Track

This is a relatively small forest dragonfly. The males have many colour forms.  The red form male is one of the most common forest dragonflies.  My first sighting was at a small stream perching on a hanging branch on 8 Feb 09 at about 3 pm. The breeze, the thin perch as well as the low light condition made it difficult to get a sharp image. I was fortunate to spot another one at Sime Track on 19 Feb 09 in the morning and this time it was resting on a firm branch allowing me to take a better shot of it.

(Male, Red Form - Sime Track, 19 Feb 2009)

The females also have different colour forms.  The following images are some of the colour forms.  I have yet to see the red colour form of the female which is said to be rare.

(Female, brownish abdomen - Venus Drive, 22 Jul 09

According to Mr Choong, the following dragonfly looks like a female Orchithemis pulcherrima - a blue form. He said "I have seen red form female O. pulcherrima of young to very matured ones. The colour of very matured female red pulcherrima is not as black as this. Furthermore, there is a trace light colour on the S2-3. So, I personal think it could be a blue form female O. pulcherrima."

(Female, Blue form - Upper Peirce)

(Female, blue form - side view)

(Female, dark form - Lornie Trail, 1 June 2011)

Damselfly (7) - Prodasineura Notostigma

Family : Protoneuridae
Common Name : Crescent Threadtail
Status : Common Forest Species
Location : Upper Seletar Reservoir

(Upper Seletar Reservoir, 8 Feb 2009)

This is a common forest damselfly that can be found near slow moving streams. It was first sighted at Upper Seletar Reservoir Park.  There were quite a no. of them.  A very cooperative species that stay on a perch at long period.   Getting close-up shot of them them is not an issue.

(Upper Seletar Reservoir, 8 Feb 2009)