HELIAESCHNA UNINERVULATA MARTIN – 2nd encounter of a male ♂

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.

The male with distinct anal appendages and thoracic marking.
Eyes are brownish on top and yellowish below.
Notice the hyaline wings and T-shaped mark on the fron.
Side of the thorax is olive-green, ventral side of the abdomen is dark, legs are dark.
Another side view showing full view of the legs and thorax.
Notice the leaf-shaped cerci.
Full dorsal view of the male.
Notice the two blue spots marking on the abdomen, similar to the female.
Final view of the male.


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

The male can be found here.

Side view- notice the leaf-like long and broad cerci. Both are intact.
The dark abdomen is very prominent.
Notice the unique blue markings on the abdomen.
An enlarge shot of the marking pattern on the synthorax and the first two segments of the abdomen.
Clearer view of the blue markings on the abdomen. Legs are darken distally.
Check out the cerci!!
Wings are slightly tinted brownish. The olive-green thorax can be seen in this photo.
Big eyes that are brownish on top and yellowish below.
A final dorsal view. A beautiful species.

Anax guttatus (Burmeister, 1839)

Family: Aeshnidae (Hawkers)
Scientific Name: Anax guttatus
Common Name: Emperor

Female Anax guttatus

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.

Dorsal view showing strong blue markings and spotted abdomen
A very colourful species
thorax is lime green and unmark
Female anal appendages is short and intact
No T-shape mark on the fron. Hyaline wings, and dark legs
close-up of anal appendages

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.

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The above female was ovipositing on to plant tissues at a water-logged drainage structure at BTNR.


Archibasis rebeccae (Kemp, 1989)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Archibasis rebeccae
Common Name: Rebecca’s Sprite

Male A.Rebeccae

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.

A long distance shot
A shot showing the tail section
Close -up of the anal appendages, showing the blue spots at segment 10
This species has large postocular blue spots and mainly blue face

It is frustratingly difficult to identify this species of damselfly. I hope my Id is correct.


Vestalis gracilis (Rambur, 1842)

Family: Calopterygidae
Scientific Name: Vestalis gracilis
Common Name: Clear-winged forest glory

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.

A fresh and teneral male.
Clear-winged forest glory (Vestalis gracilis)
An adult male with large tinted wings and straight abdomen.
Clear-winged forest glory (Vestalis gracilis)
A very old and heavily pruinosed male.
A teneral female.
A young and pristine female.
Clear-winged forest glory (Vestalis gracilis)
An adult Female.