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Ceriagrion chaoi Schmidt, 1964

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Ceriagrion chaoi
Common Name: Fiery Coraltail

Ceriagrion chaoi is a rare damselfly species that has been found only at very few places in Singapore, such as Bishan Park, and MacRitchie Reservoir.

In June 2013, I saw this species at an unrecorded place at the Western side of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. There are at least a pair of this damselfly ovipositing on the submerged water plants at the reservoir. It seems that this species only appear late in the morning and males are more likely to be seen, whilst females are less common.

The male has a striking red abdomen and an olive green thorax. The eyes and mouth are red. Females are less striking with dull olive green thorax.

Male
Male
An immatured male
A teneral male
Female ovipositing on submerged vegetation with the male on guard
Female ovipositing on submerged vegetation with the male on guard
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Euphaea impar (male with hyaline wings) Selys, 1859

Family: Euphaeidae (Satinwings)
Scientific Name: Euphaea impar
Common Name: Blue-sided Satinwing

According to the book – “Dragonflies of Singapore”, male Euphaea impar with hyaline wings is a rare form and has been observed only twice in Singapore.

In June 2013, I was lucky to photograph a male, appeared to be a male Euphaea impar with clear wings at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, off Upper Pierce Reservoir. I am not sure is this a juvenile male, where the dark patch on the hind wings has yet to be formed or a totally new subspecies.

This male, perched quite lowly on a twig in an opened grass patch in the nature reserve, was displaying it’s iridescence wings in the sun.

This picture shows the male has just landed on a twig with it's wings closed above the body
This picture shows the male has just landed on a twig with it’s wings closed above the body
Soon, it starts to open it's wings slowly. This picture shows the wings are about half-openedd
Soon, it starts to open it’s wings slowly. This picture shows the wings are about half-opened
The wings are now fully opened
The wings are now fully opened
After stretching it’s wings wide opened, the male will then shut it’s wings again and folded above the body. He will repeat these opening and closing movements of wings on every new landing..

This was my first sighting of a hyaline wings Eupaea impar in three years, and I have not seen it again since after. I was a little puzzle over this male individual as it was not found anywhere near to flowing streams and it seemed to enjoy perching in the hot sun.

Euphaea impar Selys, 1859

Family: Euphaeidae (Satinwings)
Scientific Name: Euphaea impar
Common Name: Blue-sided Satinwing

Blue-sided Satinwing is an uncommon damselfly species and confined only to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve of Singapore. This species prefer slow flowing streams in the swamp forest of the Nature Reserve.

Male has blue patch to the sides of the thorax. The dorsum of the thorax is black. There is a distinctive dark patch on the hindwing. Female has clear, narrow wings and the thorax is dull olive.

Male perching on twig above running stream
Male perching on twig above running stream
Female perching inside dense forest
Female perching inside dense forest

Males like to perch on twigs above forest streams.  Once disturbed, they will embark on a short fluttery flights to a nearby perch. Females are less common and are often found far away from the streams.

This picture shows a male perch very lowly on twing just above a running stream after a rain in the swamp forest
This picture shows a male perch very lowly on twig just above a running stream after a rain in the swamp forest

Click here for Euphaea impar (male with hyaline wings).

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Pseudagrion pruinosum (Burmeister, 1839) (2)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Pseudagrion pruinosum
Common Name: Grey Sprite

Here is the second series of a mating pair of grey sprites whereby the male is guarding the female in contact while she oviposit on plant tissue.

A tandem pair mating on a leaf just above the water surface of the fast flowing stream
Male holding on to the female while she go underneath the water surface looking for suitable spot to lay her eggs
Male still in contact with the female
The female is now almost totally submerged in the water. The only part of body visible is the pair of wings
Now the female is totally submerged, while the male is still holding on to her

Grey sprites are also great predators. They will devour insects sometimes bigger than their own size.

Male eatimg a damselfly probably female of orange striped thredtail
Male eatimg a damselfly probably female of orange striped threadtail
Close-up!!
Close-up!!
Female eating a spider
Female eating a spider
Another female eating a  female golden gem damselfly
Another female eating an immature female golden gem damselfly
Close-up!!
Close-up!!

Pseudagrion pruinosum (Burmeister, 1839) (1)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Pseudagrion pruinosum
Common Name: Grey Sprite

Grey Sprite is an uncommon damselfly species which was first recorded in Singapore in 1997. This species is mainly found on grassy-bordered of fast flowing streams. It was recorded from Mandai and Central Catchment Reserve.

The male has a dark purplish grey appearance with striking reddish eyes. The blue-grey pruinescence on the thorax increase with age. The abdomen is generally black with the last three segments grey. Males are more commonly seen than females.

Male
Male

Female has olive-green eyes and orange markings on the thorax. Females tend to wonder some distance away from the streams where they hunt for smaller insects and occasional other damselfly.

Female

The mating process is very interesting. Male will generally stay very close to the female when she oviposits. It is not uncommon to see a tandem pair submerged in the water where female oviposits on plant tissues.

The female’s head is submerged, where the male guarding from above
The female’s head and part of the body is submerged
The female’s whole body is now submerged except for a pair of wings sticking out of the water.
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Heliaeschna uninervulata Martin, 1909

Family: Aeshnidae
Scientific Name: Heliaeschna uninervulata
Common Name: Lesser Night Hawker

Heliaeschna uninervulata is a very rare dragonfly species in Singapore and was only recently recorded in April 2008 from a stream at MacRitchie Reservoir. On the 7th of June 2013, I was at a location at the western part of Singapore for the first time, when I came across a dragonfly which look very familiar to me, resting on the stalk of a plant near to the edge of the reservoir. Initially I thought it was the Gynacantha dohrni which I was quite familiar with, but upon closer examination of it’s anal appendages, I noticed it was of something different from all the Gynacantha Species which I have seen before. I zoomed into the anal appendages and took a few shots for later examination. After some reference from the book by Mr. A.G. Orr and some on-line research, I come to the conclusion that this dragonfly should be the very rare Heliaeschna uninervulata, which I based the distinguishing features on the following two points:

1) the base of the wing median space has only one single cross vein;

2) the shape of the anal appendages is very distinctive. It is flat and broad and has some kind of incision structure

I went to the same place again in August 2013, and saw another male but I am not sure is this the same male which I have seen two months ago. I am very sure this is the kind of habitat which is very suitable for this species to thrive and survive. I do hope one day I will be able to see the female of this species.

This was the first time when I seen him, resting on the stalk of this water plant and remained motionless for the next 15 minutes or so until it decided to take off when I moved in closer for the side view. The patch of vegetation is in fact very near to the edge of the reservoir.
A close up shot of the wings. Noticed there is only one cross vein at the median space at the hind wing.
The shape of the anal appendages is very unique. It is flat and broad with some kind of incision structure