Pseudagrion rubriceps Selys, 1876

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Pseudagrion rubriceps
Common Name: Orange-faced Sprite

According to the book of dragonflies by Mr. Tang, this very rare damselfly has been found only at two locations in Singapore. These sightings were at Toa Payoh Town Park, and at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

My sighting of this species were at a very remote location at the western part of Singapore. The place has a small running stream surrounded by short and weedy vegetation.

The male has a striking bright orange face with olive green on the dorsum. It has beautiful light blue on the sides of the synthorax and blue markings on segment 10.

My very first “blurry” picture of this male orange-faced sprite. Do you see him? This picture shows the stream and vegetation where the damselfly was found.
He landed on the long root of a plant near the stream. The orange-faced is very outstanding!
A closer look at this species. It has beautiful combination of blue and green on it’s thorax.
A ventral view of it’s synthorax. Notice the blue eyes spots.
A lateral view of the male. The wings of this species is hyaline, but this individual has it’s wings tinted white.
One of the most beautiful damselfly species I have encountered in Singapore.

It is sad that this species can no longer be found at Toa Payoh Town Park, but elsewhere in Singapore, it can still be found.


Agriocnemis minima (Selys, 1877) – Very young female

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis minima
Common Name: NA

Very young Agriocnemis minima has a totally different colour than the adult female of the same species. It has an orange body and red abdomen.

Very striking orange thorax and red abdomen
It has orange eye spots
The thorax is totally unmark.
No black mid-dorsal stripes unlike adult female
Very pretty orange and red combination
The upper lip is somewhat metallic

It is a pretty tiny damselfly and was only recently been discovered near the CCNR.


Agriocnemis minima (Selys, 1877) – An encounter with a sub-adult female with a tragic end!

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis minima
Common Name: NA

As mentioned in my previous posts, I have encountered and taken photos of adult male and various forms of female form from the very young to full adult and the aged. On October 2015, I have come across a very attractive sub-adult female. From the physical appearance, this female is very much the same in size and colour as the full adult female, except that the colour on the thorax is more yellowish and the two stripes at the synthorax are yellow.

This female individual was found near the edge of the forest’s wetland. Sadly, this female was preyed by a robber-fly after I had taken most of my shots.

The female in dorsal view.
Female in lateral view. Notice the two orange-yellowish stripes.
Another top-down view.
A closer dorsal view of the head and thorax.
Distinctive green eyes and yellow pterostigmata.
Frontal shot of the head.
The face is clearly visible.
A final lateral view. Yellowish thorax and striking green stripes at the side of the abdomen.

This small midget has largely been overlooked by observers as they are so tiny. It is hope that they will permanently make this patch of wetland their home.


Agriocnemis minima (Selys, 1877) – The Rare Adult Female

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis minima
Common Name: NA

Agriocnemis minima is a tiny and unrecorded species of damselfly that is only recently being discovered in Singapore. I have taken shots of males and young and aged females at a freshwater swamp in the Western part of Singapore.

The adult female has eluded me until very recently when I bumped into this female. After doing some research on the internet, it became apparent to me that this individual should be the adult female form of this species. It is very rare and I have only seen one individual of this form.

The eyes are brown on top and green below. It has yellow pterostigmata, and has yellow stripes on the synthorax. The sides of the thorax and abdomen are green and the dorsal side of the abdomen is black.

The eyes are brownish on top, and green below.
It has blue postocular spots. Top of synthorax and abdomen are black. it has two yellow-greenish stripes on the synthorax.
The sides of the thorax is yellowish-green. Wings are clear with yellow pterostigmata.
Another dorsal view of this female.
Same female – lateral view.
A stunning beautiful species.

This species prefer to be in the open, grassy areas at the edge of the flooded wetland. It is probably the tiniest species of damselfly in Singapore with the abdomen plus appendages measuring just 14.5mm.


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.

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!
This male was found in the damp, dark, understorey of the forests of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
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.
An enlarge shot of the above male.

Onychargia atrocyana (Selys, 1865)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Onychargia atrocyana
Common Name: Shorttail, Marsh Dancer

Onychargia atrocyana is a very widely distributed damselfly species. It is distributed throughout South-East Asia, India and China. In Singapore, this species is uncommon and found mainly in densely vegetated and leafy-bottomed pools, marshes in swampy forested areas. I have personally come across this species at Chestnut avenue biking trail and the densely forested area in Mandai.

As this species breeds in leafy pools and marshes, it is often seen mating in tandem in these habitats.

Both males and females are stoutly built with short abdomen and long legs. Older males are blackish with hues of purple on the thorax. Young males have thick light yellowish stripes on the sides of the thorax.

Females thorax are also dark with two yellowish stripes on the dorsum. The abdomen is dark on the dorsal side and yellowish on the ventral side.

A pair in copula (1) taken at Chestnut forest.
A second pair taken at a stream near Zhenghua Park.
Young adult male
Teneral female.
Third pair taken at a forest at Mandai.
Another shot of the third pair.

Archibasis rebeccae (Kemp, 1989)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Archibasis rebeccae
Common Name: Rebecca’s Sprite

Male A.Rebeccae

Archibasis rebeccae is a very rare damselfly species that has been recorded only once in Singapore in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on 2009. This species appears to be endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. It occurs in lowland primary forests and streams.

This individual was taken on a trip to MacRitchie Reservoir’s forest in 2013. It was found along a quiet trail along Sime forest.

Male of this species are lighter blue. The appearance is very similar to A. melanocyana, and A. incisura. Segments 8 and 9 of the abdomen are blue. There are tiny blue spots on the dorsum of segment 10 of the abdomen. The superior appendages are strongly clubbed.

There is an interesting article about this species by Robin Ngiam.

A long distance shot
A shot showing the tail section
Close -up of the anal appendages, showing the blue spots at segment 10
This species has large postocular blue spots and mainly blue face

It is frustratingly difficult to identify this species of damselfly. I hope my Id is correct.


Agriocnemis minima (Selys, 1877)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis minima
Common Name: NA

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2014, Agriocnemis minima is a fairly and widely distributed species which occurs in Thailand’s agricultural fields. It is also found in Cambodia, P. Malaysia and Indonesia.

Mr Tang in his book – “Dragonflies of Singapore” did not mention of this species ever existed in Singapore. In late 2013, and early 2014, after searching at a stretch of wet marsh land in the Western part of Singapore on many occasions, I have finally found a small colony of this species residing at the edges of the shallow wetland.

This species is found in swamp forest and shallow marshes in the open forest. It is very tiny and prefers to perch lowly among reeds near the water edge.

The thorax of the adult males are green with black stripes at the synthorax. Abdomen are black dorsally and the last two segments are orange. The superior appendages are very prominent. They are longer than the inferior appendages and curve downward. It is orange in colour.  The pterostigma is yellowish in colour.

This is a young male.
Same male. It is perching on a twig just above the water.
Dorsal view of the same male.
This adult male is munching on a small bug. The lime green on it’s thorax is very striking. The yellow colour of it’s pterostigma is clearly seen.
Same male – dorsal view. The protruding anal appendages is clearly visible.
Another male individual taken on a different day.
Dorsal view. Notice the striking orange colour and the unique markings on the last segment of it’s abdomen.

Females are equally tiny and the colour changes from bright orange and red  to greyish as it matures.

This is a teneral female.
This is a newly emerged female.
Young female with orange thorax and red abdomen.
Young female with orange thorax and red abdomen.
Same female
Dorsal view of the female.
Dorsal view of the female.
Older female - whole body is greyish in colour.
Older female – whole body turned to greyish in colour.
Same female - frontal view.
Same female – frontal view.
Same female.

This species is a new record in Singapore. Let’s hope that it will survive in this small wetland as this place is quite remote and practically no disturbance from any human activities.


Agriocnemis nana (Laidlaw, 1914)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis nana
Common Name: Dwarf Wisp

This tiny damselfly is the smallest damselfly in Singapore. It is found in grass marshes in open forests, small streams and vegetation around edges of the central catchment reservoirs. It is very rare and localised in Singapore. The only places where I have found this species is at the water edges of the MacRitchie reservoir.
 The male has a blue thorax with black strips and blue abdomen. The labrum is blue and the pterostigma is bluish-white.
A male with striking bi-colour of yellow and blue on it’s thorax and abdomen.
A slightly younger male
Another young male.
This is a teneral male.
Same individual – dorsal view.
 The female is more colourful with green-yellowish thorax and blue abdomen. The pterostigma is pale brown.
Female with stunning colour. The thorax is lime green and the underside of the abdomen is light blue.
Another female individual found at the reservoir edge.
The stunning colour shows up well on this female.

I have only seen this species on just two to three occasions at the MacRitchie reservoir. Hope this species still survives as I have not seen it for quite a long time.


Which Agriocnemis sp?

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis Sp.

This Agriocnemis sp. was taken at a small stream near Mandai forests. I have no idea what is the species, although I am inclined to think it is Agriocnemis pygmaea which is very rare in Singapore. This is the only picture I have of this individual.

Hope some experts can help to id.