Image

Camacinia gigantea (Brauer, 1867)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Camacinia gigantea
Common Name: Sultan

Camamcinia gigantea is a large dragonfly species that lives in open ponds, quarries and occasionally, forest pools.

I have observed this species many times, sometimes up to four to five individuals at the forest fringe at Bukit Timah Nature Reserves. It frequents flooded forest pools and may wander far from the water source.

It can co-habit peacefully with other smaller dragonfly species but may chase away rivals within a small territory.

The below photos are taken at a forest in the Mandai area where a small forest pools was formed after heavy rain and attracts a female and two male Sultans, a few Neurothemis fluctuans, a male Orthetrum testaceum and a male Potamarcha congener.

img_0037-2011-12-4
Two rival males perching on a twig anticipating for a female arrival
img_0043-2011-12-4
One male tries to dislodge another from his perch.
img_0052-2011-12-4
He has successfully mated with the female upon her arrival. The other rival male has to wait in despair.
img_0061-2011-12-4
Another photo of the two males perching side-by-side, one on top, and the other below.
img_0067-2011-12-4
The same couple moves to the favorite perch while in tandem.
img_0094-2011-12-4
This photo shows the smaller, but otherwise same coloration of the Neurothemis fluctuans in the background.
img_0099-2011-12-4
You can observe the difference of the two species by the pattern of the wings and size.

Although rare, Camacinia gigantea may occur in numbers when there are adequate water source and at certain time of the year. It is a delight to watch them fly gracefully over the surface of the water and then perch peacefully at their favorite spot.