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.
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: Vestalis amoena
Common Name: Charming Flashwing
Charming Flashwing is an uncommon and restricted species of damselfly that can be found at dense forests of our the nature reserves. Unlike V. amethystina, V. amoena is more likely associate with larger forest streams in the nature reserve.
V. amethystina, and V. amoena looks very much alike. The males of these species can be separated by the shape of the tip of the superior appendages. For V. amoena, the appendages appear to be less curved towards each other.
The attached photos are taken in thick and remote forests at the Upper Pierce Reservoir.
This species has a pair of very attractive sparkling blue purple iridescense wings when viewed at a certain angels from the reflection of the sunlight.
Unlike V. amethystina, V. amoena is more scarcer and it is thought to be endangered in our nature reserves.
Singapore, although is small, about 710sq. km, harbor at least 124 species of odonata in the South East Asia region. Many Singaporeans have become interested in dragonflies and damselflies over the past few years since the publication of important books such as Dr. A.G.Orr’s pocket guide book of Dragonflies of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore; a guide to the dragonflies of Borneo and our local dragonflies enthusiast Mr. Tang H.B.’s book on Dragonflies of Singapore.
I have been greatly inspired by Mr. Tang’s book and started to venture into the nature reserves in 2011 and collected numerous photos of Singapore Odonata. Mr. Tang has also given me valuable advises on some of the hard to identify species.
Readers who are interested in local Odonata species can click on the below links for more information.