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Chalybeothemis fluviatilis Lieftinck, 1933

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Chalybeothemis fluviatilis
Common Name: Green-eyed Percher

One of the more uncommon dragonflies that can be found among the weedy edges of MacRitchie reservoir, this loving small dragonfly is very attractive and inconspicuous.

The male is dark-blue in colour, with unmarked body and thin abdomen. It has a pair of striking green eyes. Female is similar, with a more brownish patch at the dorsum of the thorax and brownish tint at the wing base.

Male
Another male -dorsal view
Another male -dorsal view
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Indothemis limbata (Selys, 1891)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Indothemis limbata
Common Name: Restless Demon

This species has been listed in the Singapore Red Data Book as critically endangered species. It is classified in Mr. Tang’s book as a Rare species which occurs in open marshes with emergent plants. So far, I have seen this species only at MacRitchie reservoirs.

Generally, the male of this species is quite dark. The thorax is dark-blue whilst the abdomen is lighter blue. The extremities of the wing tips are tinted with dark-brown, and there is a dark patch at the base of the hindwings, a smaller one at the base of the forewings.

The males are very active in the early morning and midday, chasing away rivals whilst establish their territories.  Female is paler, and so far, has not been observed in Singapore.

Male
Male
Male
Male
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Trithemis festiva (Rambur, 1842)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Trithemis festiva
Common Name: Indigo Dropwing

Trithemis festiva is a very attractive dragonfly which inhabits fast flowing streams through open grasslands.

Male has dark blue synthorax and bluish abdomen with orange streaks. There is a brownish patch at the hindwing base. Superficially, male looks like Indothemis limbata, but lacks dark wing tips. Female is brownish yellow with dark markings on the thorax. Females are often found inlands, tree tops and therefore rarely seen.

Female
Female
Female - dorsal view
Female – dorsal view

Trithemis aurora (Burmeister, 1839)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Trithemis aurora
Common Name: Crimson Dropwing

Trithemis aurora is a small but beautiful dragonfly commonly found in ponds, streams, edges of the reservoirs, and weedy drains. They can be found at Singapore Botanic Garden, Dairy Farm Nature Parks, MacRitchie Reservoir, and many other places in Singapore.

The eyes, thorax and abdomen are brilliant glowing red, wing veins are red, and base of hind wings are tinted dark red in male, dark brown in female.

Immature male is brownish in color, similar to female, but without any black markings at the side of the abdomen.

This is a sun loving species. Male and female like to bask under hot sun in an obelisk position.

Male
Male
Immature Male
Immature Male
Female
Female
Older female

Great websites of Singapore Odonata

Singapore, although is small, about 710sq. km, harbor at least 124 species of odonata in the South East Asia region. Many Singaporeans have become interested in dragonflies and damselflies over the past few years since the publication of important books such as Dr. A.G.Orr’s pocket guide book of Dragonflies of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore; a guide to the dragonflies of Borneo and our local dragonflies enthusiast Mr. Tang H.B.’s book on Dragonflies of Singapore.

I have been greatly inspired by Mr. Tang’s book and started to venture into the nature reserves in 2011 and collected numerous photos of Singapore Odonata. Mr. Tang has also given me valuable advises on some of the hard to identify species.

Readers who are interested in local Odonata species can click on the below links for more information.

1) Mr. Tang’s website:

Dragonflies and damselflies of Singapore

Dragonflies Singapore

2) A very informative and interesting website of local insects, birds, reptiles and of course dragonflies:

Creatures Big & Small

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Nesoxenia lineata (Selys, 1879)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Nesoxenia lineata
Common Name: Striped Grenadier

This dragonfly is a smaller “grenadier”species, relatively uncommon, and inhibits swampy forests.

There are yellow bands on the sides of the thorax. The abdomen is thin and narrow, spear-shape in appearance, segments 6-8 are red, 9-10 are black. Females are similar in thoracic markings.

Young males perch for long period on twigs over shallow leafy-forest pools.

Male
Female
Female

Orthetrum chrysis (Selys, 1891)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Orthetrum chrysis
Common Name: Spine-tufted Skimmer

This dragonfly is very common in ponds, drains, in both nature reserves, parks and other disturbed wastelands.

The male’s eyes are dark grey, thorax is dark brown, abdomen is red. Male has a distinct curved tuft of setae at Segment two of the abdomen. Female is reddish brown with obscure markings.

Male
Mating pair
Mating pair
Another mating pair where male hold on tightly on the female as though the female is reluctant to mate
A male with his catch
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Teinobasis ruficollis (Selys, 1877)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Teinobasis ruficollis
Common Name: Red-tailed Sprite

Red-tailed Sprite is moderately rare in Singapore, very localised and mainly found in marshes and forest pools at the Bukit Timah, and Central Nature Reserves.

The male’s thorax is red with deep metallic blue-green band on dorsum of synthorax. The abdominal segments from 8-10 is red. Female is similar but the colour is duller.

Males tend to perch very low near to water surface  at forest swamp. Female of this species is very rare.

Female
Female
A mating pair
A mating pair

Ceriagrion cerinorubellum (Brauer,1865)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Ceriagrion cerinorubellum
Common Name: Ornate Coraltail

Ornate Coraltail is a beautiful small damselfly that are commonly found at ponds, drains, at both urban areas as well as forests and nature reserves.

The male has a bluish-green thorax and orange-red at the first two and last three segments of the abdomen. Female is similar to male but the colour is a little duller.

This species of damselfly is very aggressive and will not hesitate to attack and eat other smaller damselflies and insects.

Female
Female
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A mating pair