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Heliaeschna crassa Krüger, 1899

Family: Aeshnidae
Scientific Name: Heliaeschna crassa
Common Name: Nighthawker

Heliaeschna crassa is very rare in Singapore. It inhabit swampy forests and are crepuscular. So far, I have bumped into this species only twice over the span of 5 years of my dragonfly hunting. Once in the forest near Upper Pierce Reservoir, and this one, near Chestnut forest. On both occasions, it’s appearance was caused by my unintentional disturbance while I was walking along the forest trail. My observation of this species is that it tends to be very sensitive to any movements in the surroundings. Once it flies off, it will never come back again. Also, it tends to perch quite low in the dense vegetation.

This is a pretty large species. The eyes of the male are bottle green. The thorax is green and somewhat flatten with greenish transverse flecks and the abdomen of this one is black, probably indicating this is an older male. It has 4-5 crossveins in the median space at the base of the wings.

The top of the frons is black w/o a T-mark. The wings are brownish tinted.

The most unique feature of this species is it’s anal appendages. The male superior appendages is thin and long with a somewhat swollen recurved tip pointing outward. The inferior appendage is very short and slightly recurved.

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This old male was taken in the chestnut forest in July 2016.
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A closer look at it’s appendages. Do you think it’s a H.crassa or H.idae?

This species is definitely one of the rarest species of dragonfly in Singapore. Unfortunately, I only managed to take a couple of shots before this male shoot off and disappeared into the forests.

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Heliogomphus kelantanensis (Laidlaw, 1902)

Family: Gomphidae
Scientific Name: Heliogomphus kelantanensis
Common Name: Malayan Grappletail

The Malayan Grappletail has turned up again in the CCNR of Singapore in July 2016. I have seen this very species of gomphid almost every year at the same spot at one of the streams in the Nature Reserve.

Normally I have seen at least two males individual hanging within the vicinity of the slow flowing stream, but this time round, I have only encounter a single male.

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This is a small gomphid. Total body length is only about 37mm. It is endemic to P.Malaysia & Singapore.
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It has bluish green eyes, olive green thorax and dark abdomen.
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My favourite gomphid species. It is very rewarding to be able to capture this species not withstanding the long and tiring trip in the nature reserve.
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Dorsal view of this male. It has clear wings and very unique anal appendages.

This species is one of the easiest gomphid species to photograph as it will tend to stay patiently at it’s favourite perch. Even if it’s disturbed, it will fly to a nearby perch and will stay for long period of time.

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Risiophlebia dohrni, Krüger, (Potbellied Elf) -1902

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Risiophlebia dohrni
Common Name: Potbellied Elf

Listed as endangered in the Singapore Red Data Book, Potbellied Elf is one of the most rare species of dragonflies that can still be found in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. It is very small and is often found near or in shaded forest pools and nearby streams and vegetation.

In July, I have encountered two females and a single male in the Nature Reserve.

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The 1st female resting on twig near to the forest floor.
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Same female. It has reddish brown eyes on top and yellowish below.
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Top of the synthorax is metallic green.
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This is the male potbellied elf. The abdomen is thinner and top of the eyes are more darker brown.
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Look at the curvature of the abdomen!!
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And the swollen 1-3 segments of the abdomen.
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Handsome face shot. Very prominent yellow band on the upper lip?
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Yellow strips on the sides of the thorax.
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This is the 2nd female. Found a little further away from the forest pools and streams.
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Dorsal view. Perched very near to the ground. Need a keen eye to spot it.
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More reddish eyes and the nose part is metallic green.
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Look at the swollen abdomen!!
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Very beautiful species of dragonfly indeed.

I feel both happy and excited to see this species again in the Nature Reserve and hope it continues to survive in our forests.

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Libellago hyalina, Selys, 1859

Family: Chlorocyphidae (Jewels)
Scientific Name: Libellago hyalina
Common Name: Clearwing Gem

July is definitely the breeding month for the Clearwing gems where I have seen many of these little gems scattering around an open patch of the forest in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This time round, males are evidently more abundant than females.

Majority of the males are matured male which has a bluish grey abdomen. Younger male has attractive steel blue abdomen.

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This is an adult matured male. The abdomen is bluish grey in colour.
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Another matured male.
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Third male with the same colouration. This is the most common colour form.
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Adult male with amazing steel blue abdomen.

Females has a thicker abdomen and stouter in appearance. Young female has a golden orange body whilst older females are paler bluish grey in colour.

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Young female has a orange-striped abdomen. The pterostigma is white in colour.
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Another young female.
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Older female has a dull bluish abdomen.