Agriocnemis minima (Selys, 1877)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis minima
Common Name: NA

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2014, Agriocnemis minima is a fairly and widely distributed species which occurs in Thailand’s agricultural fields. It is also found in Cambodia, P. Malaysia and Indonesia.

Mr Tang in his book – “Dragonflies of Singapore” did not mention of this species ever existed in Singapore. In late 2013, and early 2014, after searching at a stretch of wet marsh land in the Western part of Singapore on many occasions, I have finally found a small colony of this species residing at the edges of the shallow wetland.

This species is found in swamp forest and shallow marshes in the open forest. It is very tiny and prefers to perch lowly among reeds near the water edge.

The thorax of the adult males are green with black stripes at the synthorax. Abdomen are black dorsally and the last two segments are orange. The superior appendages are very prominent. They are longer than the inferior appendages and curve downward. It is orange in colour.  The pterostigma is yellowish in colour.

This is a young male.
Same male. It is perching on a twig just above the water.
Dorsal view of the same male.
This adult male is munching on a small bug. The lime green on it’s thorax is very striking. The yellow colour of it’s pterostigma is clearly seen.
Same male – dorsal view. The protruding anal appendages is clearly visible.
Another male individual taken on a different day.
Dorsal view. Notice the striking orange colour and the unique markings on the last segment of it’s abdomen.

Females are equally tiny and the colour changes from bright orange and red  to greyish as it matures.

This is a teneral female.
This is a newly emerged female.
Young female with orange thorax and red abdomen.
Young female with orange thorax and red abdomen.
Same female
Dorsal view of the female.
Dorsal view of the female.
Older female - whole body is greyish in colour.
Older female – whole body turned to greyish in colour.
Same female - frontal view.
Same female – frontal view.
Same female.

This species is a new record in Singapore. Let’s hope that it will survive in this small wetland as this place is quite remote and practically no disturbance from any human activities.


Agriocnemis nana (Laidlaw, 1914)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis nana
Common Name: Dwarf Wisp

This tiny damselfly is the smallest damselfly in Singapore. It is found in grass marshes in open forests, small streams and vegetation around edges of the central catchment reservoirs. It is very rare and localised in Singapore. The only places where I have found this species is at the water edges of the MacRitchie reservoir.
 The male has a blue thorax with black strips and blue abdomen. The labrum is blue and the pterostigma is bluish-white.
A male with striking bi-colour of yellow and blue on it’s thorax and abdomen.
A slightly younger male
Another young male.
This is a teneral male.
Same individual – dorsal view.
 The female is more colourful with green-yellowish thorax and blue abdomen. The pterostigma is pale brown.
Female with stunning colour. The thorax is lime green and the underside of the abdomen is light blue.
Another female individual found at the reservoir edge.
The stunning colour shows up well on this female.

I have only seen this species on just two to three occasions at the MacRitchie reservoir. Hope this species still survives as I have not seen it for quite a long time.


Which Agriocnemis sp?

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis Sp.

This Agriocnemis sp. was taken at a small stream near Mandai forests. I have no idea what is the species, although I am inclined to think it is Agriocnemis pygmaea which is very rare in Singapore. This is the only picture I have of this individual.

Hope some experts can help to id.


Agriocnemis femina (Bauer, 1868)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis femina
Common Name: Common Wisp

This is a very small damselfly with a wing span of only 9-10 mm. It is a relatively common and widespread species of damselfly in Singapore. It can be found in grassy areas with water bodies such as ponds, lakes, streams, and drains. So far, I have seen this species at Toa Payoh Town Park, Chestnut Forest Trail, Mandai Forest, MacRitchie Nature Reserve, and Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve.

Due to it’s size, this tiny damselfly has often been overlook by photographer. Both males and females developed various colour forms  from very young to adult maturity.

Young males are green with black strips on the dorsum and orange tips. Older males developed pruinosed white to it’s thorax. In males, the inferior appendages is longer than the superior appendages, a distinguishing feature of this species.

Young male
Slightly matured male with slight pruinosed white on it’s thorax.
Older male with more extensive pruinosed white and darker red on it’s abdominal tips.
Older male – the last few segments on the abdominal turned to darker black.
Very old pruinosed white male.

Young females are cherry red, then develop into bright green with light brown on it’s thorax. Older females are generally olive with darker brown markings.

A teneral female taken at Chestnut forest trail.
A cherry red immatured female – taken at Toa Payoh Town Park.
A young female.
A slightly older female.
Matured female. Females also developed pruinosed on it’s thorax.
A mating pair, taken at the fresh water pond at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve.
A matured male fall prey to a lynx spider.

A. femina is one of the most abundant Agriocnemis species that occurred in Singapore. The other two species are A.nana, and A. pygmaea.


Gynacantha basiguttata – female ovipositing.

Family: Aeshnidae
Scientific Name: Gynacantha basiguttata
Common Name: Spoon-tailed Duskhawker

Encountering a rare female Gynacantha basiguttata was lucky enough, let alone a female which oviposit at a forest pool in the secondary forest near Mandai. It was around 10 plus in the morning when I arrived. The forest pool was almost dried up after days of dry weather. It was flooded with fallen leaves and broken branches. Although it was without any trace of water, the soil was quite damp.

This female suddenly appears and starts to oviposit on the damp soil. she spent quite awhile surveying the area and looking for suitable spots. She will hang around at a particular spot for awhile, lay her eggs and then move on to another spot.

The dried up forest pool is quite big, about the size of a basket ball court. From far, the female has already started ovipositing her eggs.
A tiny speck of green amongst a sea of fallen leaves.

She randomly chose her breeding spots, which include decayed leaves, damp soil and rotten logs.

I think that is a heavily rotten tree trunk where she is ovipositing on.
Dorsal view. See how she stretch out her abdomen.
Another closer dorsal view shot – she is oblivious to my presence.
Frontal view with two large greenish eyes. Dorsum and both sides of the thorax is greenish too.
A solitary male was seen resting at the nearby branch.

This place is indeed a perfect breeding place for the forest-dwelling duskhawkers.