The discovery of the heliaeschna uninervulata female has excited me, and prompted me to hunt for this species of dragonfly again on the next day. To my surprise, this time I discovered a male.
The male was perching fairly low on a tree branch slightly above my eye level.
As you can see, this is a pristine male with very brilliant colours. I have to use flash as the surrounding is quite dark. The identity of this species is unmistakeable, especially for it’s single cross vein and the leaf-shaped appendages.
Family: Aeshnidae Scientific Name: Heliaeschna uninervulata Common Name: Lesser Night Hawker
I was both astonished and delighted for the fact that I have captured the very rare female individual of Heliaeschna Uninervulata in one of my trips to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
The female individual was perching on a tree branch about 3 metres from the ground. From far, it looks like a small aeshnid, with a wing span of only 40-44mm. The tail section of the abdomen was tilted at an angle of about 90 degree throughout the whole duration of my photographing. The place where it was found was heavily shaded within the secondary forests.
Here are some of the features of this species:
the eyes are light-brownish on top and yellowish below
the thorax is olive-green
legs are darken distally
there is only one cross vein in the median space on both wings
both wings are slightly tinted brown
the abdomen is dark brown with speckles of green
the leaf-like cerci is broad and long and for this individual, is intact
Family: Aeshnidae (Hawkers) Scientific Name: Anax guttatus Common Name: Emperor
Anax guttatus is a large and robust dragonfly that is not often sighted in Singapore. It is a very fast and strong flyer, often seen patrolling at large open ponds and reservoirs. In Singapore, I have seen this species at USR, MacRitchie Reservoir, and Bukit Timah Nature Reservoir.
The thorax is lime green. There is prominent blue markings at the second and third abdominal segments. The sides of the abdomen has a strong orange-spotted pattern.
Sometimes, female can be found ovipositing on floating vegetation at ponds or edge of the reservoir by inserting eggs into plant tissues. This is done by making a small slit on the plant tissues using it’s ovipositor.
The above female was ovipositing on to plant tissues at a water-logged drainage structure at BTNR.
Family: Coenagrionidae Scientific Name: Archibasis rebeccae Common Name: Rebecca’s Sprite
Archibasis rebeccae is a very rare damselfly species that has been recorded only once in Singapore in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on 2009. This species appears to be endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. It occurs in lowland primary forests and streams.
This individual was taken on a trip to MacRitchie Reservoir’s forest in 2013. It was found along a quiet trail along Sime forest.
Male of this species are lighter blue. The appearance is very similar to A. melanocyana, and A. incisura. Segments 8 and 9 of the abdomen are blue. There are tiny blue spots on the dorsum of segment 10 of the abdomen. The superior appendages are strongly clubbed.
There is an interesting article about this species by Robin Ngiam.
It is frustratingly difficult to identify this species of damselfly. I hope my Id is correct.
Vestalis gracilis (Clear-Winged forest Glory) is a large Demoiselles species of damselfly which inhibits heavily shaded forest streams. It is not recorded from the Book of Dragonfly by Mr. Tang. It could well be a new discovery in the Singapore odonata’s record. As far as I know, this species can only be found at the forest streams in the northern region of Singapore.
The male has a very slim abdomen. It has yellow stripes at the side of the thorax. The wings are slightly tinted brown. Older individuals developed pruinose over it’s body. Females are easily identifiable, with very similar appearance as the males.
Several individuals can be seen on overhanging plants over running streams or at the heavily shaded forest trails. This is an unmistakeable and very elegant species of damselfly.