Scientific Name: Brachygonia oculata
Common Name: Pixie
This gorgeous little dragonfly was very rare in Singapore. According to records, it was collected by A.R.Wallace in Singapore in 1854. After which no records were known until it was seen again in May 2007 in the Western Catchment area of Singapore.
This attractive small dragonfly is predominantly orange in color with splashes of powdery white to it’s abdomen. The last three segments of it’s abdomen are black.
Female is less attractive and brown in color.
I can count myself as being extremely lucky to have seen a male specimen of this rare dragonfly in Singapore.
Scientific Name: Macrodiplax cora
Common Name: Coastal Glider
Macrodiplax cora is a common dragonfly species which is found at reclaimed land, reservoirs and coastal areas. In Singapore, I have seen this species at MacRitchie Reservoir, Upper Seletar Reservoir, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and Upper Peirce Reservoir.
Adult male Macrodiplax cora is a medium-sized dragonfly with a body length of 43mm. It has large head and dark brown thorax. Both sexes has a distinctive thick dark broken line along the dorsum of the abdomen.
Female is light orange-yellow on thorax and abdomen.Immature male resemble female in colors. The wings are clear except for a yellowish patch at the base of the hind wing.
This species perches on the tip of twigs or branches along edges of the reservoirs.
Macrodiplax cora may be a migratory species and has been known to be salt-tolerant.
Scientific Name: Trithemis festiva
Common Name: Indigo Dropwing
I believed everyone has seen a blue-coloured Trithemis festiva before, but has anyone seen a yellow one?
A few years ago while I was walking along a gravel track inside Lor Asrama , a small dragonfly suddenly fell from the sky and landed in front of me. Noticing it was something I have never seen, I immediately took a few shots as it wriggled on the ground, dying from the immense heat on the dirt road.
Later, I moved and placed it on top of a small plant under some shades and took some photos.
I believed it could be the sub-adult male of Trithemis festiva which not many people had seen before.
What do you think?
It was strange why wasn’t the sub-adult male as frequently seen as the adult male. It could be that the young male prefer to reside in the tree top before venturing into the nearby streams for mating when it becomes adult male.
In this post, I would like to showcase a few species of dragonfly and damselfly which could only be found in the mangrove swamps around Singapore’s coastal regions. Areas which I had visited include Sungei Buloh Wetalnd Reserves, Pulau Ubin, and the mangrove swamps around the North Western part of Singapore.
Some species are uncommon such as mangrove dwarf (Raphismia bispina) whilst others are rare, such as the elusive mangrove marshal (Pornothemis starrei) and Arthur’s Midget (Mortonagrion arthuri).
Raphismia bispina (Mangrove Dwarf)
They are uncommon species and one of the few dragonfly species that lives and breeds in the salt water in mangrove swamps. I have seen and recorded this species at Pulau Ubin, SBWR, and Sungei Cina.
A sub-adult male. The thorax is slated blue with some yellow streaks at the sides of the abdomen.
A female pornothemis starrei.
A female Mortonagrion arthuri resting at the tip of the root of mangrove tree. It has brown thorax with blue stripes. Similar to males, it also has distinct blue markings on segment 8 of the abdomen.
2. Pornothemis starrei (Mangrove Marshal)
This species is rare in Singapore. I have come across it once at SBWR and Pulau Ubin and a few occasions at sungei cina.
3. Mortonagrion arthuri ( Arthur’s Midget)
Mortonagrion arthuri is also a mangrove species and could be found at Pulau Ubin and Sungei Cina.
Although not exclusively associate with mangrove habitats, the following two species of dragonfly could also be found there.
It is important to preserve our limited mangrove habitats so the rare species of plants and animals could continue to thrive there.
Scientific Name: Pornothemis starrei
Common Name: Mangrove Marshal
Mangrove Marshall is predominantly a mangrove species of rare dragonfly that can be found in mangrove habitat in most part of Singapore coastal areas. I have encountered this species at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Pulau Ubin, and at the mangrove swamps at Western part of Singapore.
The male has a metallic black body with light bluish pruinescence on the dorsum of the thorax. It also has markings that look like “stars” on the synthorax, that differs between individuals. The abdomen is thin, dark and curved when view from the side It has a pair of attractive greenish-blue eyes.
Females are olive in colour on the sides of the thorax and are rarely encountered.
I have caught many males and females in pixel over a span of a few weeks of this elegant and rare species at the mangrove swamps of Singapore. One has to see the real specimen to appreciate the beauty of the species.
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.
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.
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.
I feel both happy and excited to see this species again in the Nature Reserve and hope it continues to survive in our forests.