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Oligoaeschna foliacea Lieftinck, 1968 – Stunning Adult Male!

Family: Aeshnidae
Scientific Name: Oligoaeschna foliacea Lieftinck 1968
Common Name: Leaftail

Oligoaeschna foliacea is one species of Aeshnidae that is seldom seen by the dragonfly enthusiast as not only it is rare, but also it is crepuscular, which means it is active during dawn and dusk. During the day, it rests deep in the wooded swampy forests, normally hanging vertically on leaf or twig just above an observer’s eye level.

During one of my usual dragonfly trip to the North-Western part of Singapore’s nature reserve, I have the chance to witness a splendid male in it’s full adult coloration.

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Even from far, this species stands out. Look at it’s green eyes and striking green markings on it’s thorax and abdomen. It curls it’s abdomen up, probably in preparation for mating.
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Hanging vertically on twig in the heavily shaded forest’s undergrowth. It is waiting to mate with the females which are probably nearby.
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A medium size Aeshnidae speies. Total body length is about 60mm, which is slightly smaller than the more common G.dohrni and G.subinterrupta. Very striking green eyes and thorax and abdomen are black with strong green markings.
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Dorsal view showing the splendid green and black dragonfly. The wings are slightly tinted with pale amber. Notice it has only three cells in the discoidal triangle on both wings.
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Here the anal appendages is shown. The superior appendages is leaf-shape like, and inferior appendage is longer than that of O.amata.
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In A.G.Orr’s book of dragonflies of P.Malaysia and Singapore, it is said that the striking green markings is easily lost in preserved specimens. To appreciate it’s full coloration, it is best view via a life specimen.
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Lateral view of the male. Notice the side of the thorax which is green with black stripe.

This is one of the most stunning species of dragonflies in my opinion. We are lucky that it can still be seen in Singapore. Wish that this species can continue to thrive in our nature reserves.

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