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Raphismia bispina (Hagen, 1867) * A Mating Pair in Wheel!

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Raphismia bispina
Common Name: Mangrove Dwarf

I have seen mating pair of Raphismia bispina on about three occasions. Two pairs were seen mating within the mangrove vicinity. This pair was found among the vegetation a distance away from the mangrove. Both are fully matured male and female.

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Raphismia bispina (Hagen, 1867) * Female

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Raphismia bispina
Common Name: Mangrove Dwarf

Female Raphismia bispina has a black thorax and abdomen and covered with mottled yellow markings on the sides of the thorax and conspicuous yellow streaks along the sides of the abdomen. As the female matures, the markings on the thorax and abdomen are covered with pruinose.

It seems that females are more commonly encounter than the males.

This is a young female with hyaline wings, and clear yellow streaks along the abdomen.

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Another young female.

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Slightly aged matured female. Markings on the thorax and abdomen are obscured.

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Another older female.

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Scarlet Pygmy – Singapore’s smallest dragonfly

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Nannophya pygmaea
Common Name: Scarlet Pygmy

This small dragonfly can be found in most habitats that are close to water, such as wetlands, swamps, and small streams. They prefer opened and exposed vegetation near to water with adequate sunlight.

Here are some shots of male, female and immature male.

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“Red Chili”- Adult male.
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Adult Male.
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Immature Male.
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Immature Male.
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Immature Male.
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Immature Male.
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Female
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Female
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Female
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A mating pair.
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Paragomphus capricornis enjoying sunbath in the grassland

Family: Gomphidae
Scientific Name: Paragomphus capricornis
Common Name: Banded Hooktail

Banded hooktail is a rare gomphid in Singapore. It inhabits clear streams with gravel bottom in open forest. Male prefer to perch on logs and stones in mid-stream.

These hooktails, both males and females, prefer to perch on twigs and wild flowers in the grassland under the hot sun. Sometimes they would raise their abdomen in an obelisk posture to minimise their body exposure to the sun.

Here are some shots taken recently at their favourite grassland.

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A male – notice the hook-like superior appendages, is resting on a dried bidens flower.
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This male is resting on a twig. This is where they rest and feast on small flying insects.
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A closer shot of the same male.
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Another shot.
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Another male.
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They are not very skittish. Once disturbed, they would usually fly to a nearby perch.
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A frontal shot.
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A female which perch with her abdomen slightly raised. Wings pointed down.
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A closer shot.
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A lateral shot of the female.
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Raphismia bispina (Hagen, 1867) * Male

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Raphismia bispina
Common Name: Mangrove Dwarf

This is an uncommon species of dragonfly which inhabits mangrove swamps. It can be found at Changi, Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong, Mandai, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and other offshore islands. It is one of the dragonfly species that live and breeds in the salt water of back mangroves swamps and the surrounding vegetation.

The male Raphismia bispina looks like a smaller version of a Brachydiplax chalybea. It is in fact much smaller, lighter, and has a clear wing base. The male tend to perch for long period of time defending their territories against rival males in the mangrove swamps.

The thorax of the male is slate blue with mottled yellow marking on the sides. The eyes are dark brown on top and yellow below. The abdomen is slate blue with the last four segments black. There are two short spines behind the legs and beneath the thorax.

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Adult male. The thorax and abdomen is covered with blue pruinescense.
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Another male. Dorsal view with well-defined segments of blue and black.
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Same male.
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Third male. The wings are clear.
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Third male. Lateral view. The two short spines can be seen in this shot.

Sub-adult male. The series of whitish streaks on the abdomen against the slate blue and black body is striking.

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Dorsal view of the sub-adult male.
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Well-defined markings and streaks on the thorax and abdomen.
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Eyes are brown on top and greenish below. Frons is metallic blue.
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Lateral view.

Another sub-adult but slightly more matured male. It has lesser streaks on the sides of the abdomen than the earlier male.

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Dorsal view.
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The thorax and abdomen is slightly pruinosed.
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Dorsal view.
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Young adult male.
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Young adult male.
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Young adult male.

In Singapore, this species can be found whole year round in the mangrove swamps. I have seen them at Pulau Ubin and SBWR. A small and inconspicuous dragonfly but not difficult to find in the mangrove swamps. At times, they could be quite abundant.

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Pericnemis stictica Hagen in Selys, 1863

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Pericnemis stictica
Common Name: Dryad

This is a large and distinctive damselfly that lives and breeds in the dense understorey¬† of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. In fact, it is the largest of it’s family in South-East Asia.

In Singapore, it is mentioned that it has been recorded only once or twice a year in the past six years. It is primarily found in very dense vegetation in the forests. It mainly breeds in water-filled tree holes, buttress pans, bamboo stumps.

I have personally witnessed this species in the primary and secondary forests in Singapore, such as Upper Pierce Reservoir, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Chestnut Avenue forest.

This species has very long abdomen. The sides of the thorax is yellowish green, and the dorsum is dark. The eyes are green and the legs are yellow. Male has dark brown pterostigma, whilst female has white pterostigma. Female in general is larger and more robust.

This species is rare and scarce in Singapore.

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This large female was found in the Upper Pierce Reservoir forests. I was stunned when I first seen it. She was huge, in the context of the size of an average damselfly. She was flying with a bit of difficulty due to her heavy abdomen. She landed on the tip of a leaf with her abdomen hanging down. A stunning species. It has to be seen to believe!
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This male was found in the damp, dark, understorey of the forests of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
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This male was found in the Chestnut Avenue forests. There were forest pools and bamboo in the proximity of this individual. This species breeds in this kind of environments.
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An enlarge shot of the above male.