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Rhyothemis triangularis Kirby, 1889

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Rhyothemis triangularis
Common Name: Sapphire Flutterer

Sapphire Flutterer, an uncommon dragonfly, tend to inhabit ponds, streams, and reservoirs. So far, I have only encountered this species a couple of times, at MacRitchie Reservoir.

This species is very distinctive and unmistakeable in appearance. Males and females are similar. Eyes reddish brown on top and dark brown below. Thorax and abdomen are dark metallic blue. Most distinctive are a pair of wings that have a broad and deep purplish blue patches. Males tend to be brighter and females more darker in colour.

R. triangularis is the smallest Rhyothemis species that can be found in Singapore.

IMG_4027.2011.8.27

Male
Male
Female
Female
Female
Female

Rhyothemis phyllis (Sulzer, 1776)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Rhyothemis phyllis
Common Name: Yellow-Barred Flutterer

Yellow-Barred Flutterer is a very widespread and common dragonfly in Singapore, and other South East Asia regions. It is commonly found at marshy swampland, ponds, reservoirs, and open grasslands.

This species is unmistakeable. Males and females look similar. The thorax and abdomen are dark, and the hindwing base has a very distinctive barred yellow and dark brown pattern.

A few years ago,  I have often seen this species flying in swarms especially at the vicinity of Bukit Timah Nature Reserves, but this scene is more and more uncommon nowadays. They are sun-loving species and it is a sight to see them gather in swarms, gliding in the air and feeding small insects.

Male - dorsal view
Male – dorsal view
Male - side view
Male – side view
Female - dorsal view
Female – dorsal view
Female - side view
Female – side view
A mating pair in action
A mating pair in action
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Vestalis amethystina Lieftinck, 1965

Family: Calopterygidae
Scientific Name: Vestalis amethystina
Common Name: Common Flashwing

This is a relatively large damselfly, the total body length is about 50-56mm and commonly found near forest streams at Central Catchment Nature Reserves and Bukit Timah Nature Reserves. So far, I have seen this species at MacRitchie reservoir -along the board walk, Upper Seletar Reservoir, Upper Pierce Reservoir, Chestnut Ave forest, and Dairy Farm Nature Reserves.

Males and females look quite alike, the main difference is their anal appendages. Both has metallic green body with very long and thin legs.  It has a pair of transparent wings which show off a sparkling bluish purple iridescence from reflection from the light.

Male
Male
IMG_8073.2011.5.8A
Male
Female
Female
IMG_2673.2011.7.24
Female

This species tend to occur on smaller streams in the primary forests.

Acisoma panorpoides Rambur, 1842

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Acisoma panorpoides
Common Name: Trumpet Tail

This dragonfly is commonly found at open disturbed habitats including grassy swamps, edges of the reservoirs with short grassy vegetation, ponds, and drains. So far, I have seen this species at places like MacRitchie reservoir, Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West, and small streams at Central Nature reserves.

As it’s name suggest, this species is unmistakable by it’s unique shape of it’s abdomen. Male has light blue eyes and body. Female is similarly shaped and patterned, but the colour of the eyes and body is more greenish.

IMG_5653.2011.10.4

Female
Female
A mating pair
A mating pair
This male suddenly grab this female by the neck and try very hard to mate with her. After several unsuccessful attempts, she finally break off from him without mating.
This male suddenly grab this female by the neck and try very hard to mate with her. After several unsuccessful attempts, she finally break off from him without mating.

This dragonfly is quite small in size and very inconspicuous when they perched among grassy vegetation.

They are very aggressive dragonfly and will eat all kinds of  smaller insects, including damselflies.

A female eatng a damselfly.
A female eatng a damselfly.

Diplacodes nebulosa (Fabricius, 1793)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Diplacodes nebulosa
Common Name: Black-tipped Percher

This dragonfly species is uncommon, but it is locally abundant. It is mainly found at marshes and shallow ponds in open, disturbed country side.

The matured male is about 23 to 25 mm in body length. It is blue with very distinctive dark tips to the wings. As it matures, pruinescence develops over it’s body, and the blue becomes darker.

Black-tipped Percher (Diplacodes nebulosa)
Black-tipped Percher – male (Diplacodes nebulosa)

Female is slightly larger, with clear wing tips. It is yellowish olive with paler bars of the same colour running across the lateral part of the abdomen.

Black-tipped Percher (Diplacodes nebulosa)
Black-tipped Percher (Diplacodes nebulosa) – Female
The wings of the female are clear, without the dark apical patches.

Young male looks very similar to the female.

Young adult male
Young adult male