Copera vittata (Selys, 1863)

Family: Platycnemididae
Scientific Name: Copera Vittata
Common Name: Variable Featherlegs

Copera Vittata is rare in Singapore and according to the book “Dragonflies of Singapore”, it was recorded in only two sites within the Western Catchment Areas. My specimen of this species was however, found at another location, inside the dense vegetation and near the mangrove swamps of Pulau Ubin.

I found several individuals, both males and females, and one mating couple, near the small drain that exits into the sea. It was heavily shaded and the sluggish channels was perfect environment for this species to thrive.

This species is slender and dainty. It has variegated pattern of greenish yellow maculation on the synthorax.  Immature has pale whitish body, known as “Ghost form”.

Copera Vittata, male. Notice the variegated yellow-greenish pattern on it’s thorax. It has yellow legs.
This female has similar variegated pattern on it’s thorax. However, she looks more “reddish” in colour to me.
An immature male in “ghost form”. Notice it has striking variegated pattern on it’s thorax, greenish eyes on top, and whitish abdomen with rings.
Closer-up with “ghostly -look!”. Legs are reddish.
Another immature male. It has white anal appendages.
Another adult male individual.
Adult female. Notice the “reddish”body and green eyes.
Same couple.
Frontal shot of the male.
Another shot of the couple. Resting on grass beside the small drain.

Palua Ubin is the only site I have seen this species. I would say this is a very interesting looking species of damselfly due to it’s ghost form. I was especially fascinated by the eye’s colour and pattern. A must-see species for dragonfly enthusiasts.


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