Gynacantha dohrni Krüger, 1899

Family: Aeshnidae
Scientific Name: Gynacantha dohrni
Common Name: Spear-tail Duskhawker

Spear-tailed duskhawker is a widespread but uncommon species of fairly large dragonfly which can be found in many swampy forested areas around the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Bukit Timah Nature Reserves as well as in the secondary forests of Mandai, Kranji and Chestnut area.

It is a species that prefers  dense and dark forest undergrowth, often around the vicinity of forest pools or streams where it hides in the shade and perch motionlessly on vertical twig during the day. It becomes active at dusk.

Male has green eyes and thorax. The auricles on the side of the 2nd abdominal segment are bright blue. It has a T-shaped marking on the top of the fron. Wings are mainly clear. Abdomen is dark with flecks of green markings. Male’s superior appendages are spear-shaped towards the tip, while the inferior appendage is short and pale in color.

Females generally are quite similar to males in term of color and markings. The wings are rounder and the appendages are often broken off due to mating or ovipositing. Females are found to breed in forest pools and sometimes they even ovipositing their eggs into rock, or mud crevices, from my observation.

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This fully matured male has greenish eyes, green thorax  and bright blue auricles.
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Female is much duller in coloration. This female has it’s anal appendages intact.
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Another male in lateral view. It likes to hang out in the forest where there are water sources.
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Another female where both of her anal appendages are broken-off. There were mud stain on the abdomen and anal appendages which is a clear indication that she has been ovipositing in the mud or muddy pool.
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A rare sighting of a mating pair in action.
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View from a different angle.
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View from the side. The mating took quite a while.
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This is an immatured male. It is generally brownish in color. The distinctive short and whitish inferior appendage and the spear-shaped superior appendages is a clear indication of this species.

This is one of the most common species of aeshnidae which can be found locally.

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Gynacantha subinterrupta Rambur, 1842 – Matured male

Family: Aeshnidae
Scientific Name: Gynacantha subinterrupta
Common Name: Dingy Duskhawker

Gynacantha subinterrupta is an uncommon Aeshnidae species of dragonfly. Fairly large and hide in the deep undergrowth of the forest during the day. Venture out at dawn and dusk, feeding on small insects.

In Singapore, I have seen this species at Bukit Timah nature reserve, Dairy Farm nature reserve, Upper Pierce Reservoir and the forest at Mandai.

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A matured male. The pale bluish-green eyes are very attractive.
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Ventral side. Notice the blue and green markings on the thorax and abdomen.
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A rare glimpse of the male in flight.
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Lateral view.
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Hiding underneath a tree trunk.

In my opinion, amongst all the species of Aeshnidae dragonfly in Singapore, this species is the most colourful.

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Oligoaeschna foliacea Lieftinck, 1968

Family: Aeshnidae
Scientific Name: Oligoaeschna foliacea Lieftinck 1968
Common Name: Leaftail

Oligoaeschna foliacea is a very rare species of dragonfly which inhabit wooded swampy forests in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. It is crepuscular where it rests in the forests during the day, and forages for insects during dusk and dawn. This species like to rest vertically on twigs or leaves, generally slightly above an observer’s eye-level.

The male is rather rare but may appear in numbers during the breeding seasons. It can be told apart from the similar O. amata by the shape of it’s anal appendages. It’s superior appendages has a leaf-like profile view and it’s inferior appendage is longer than that of O.amata.

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This is an older male. The thorax and abdomen is dark reddish brown. The superior appendages is moderately long, robust and leaf-like in profile view.
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The wings are uniformly covered in amber-brown. Eyes are dark green in young individuals.
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Lateral view with green markings on it’s thorax and abdomen.
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The leaf-like anal appendages can be viewed here.

The best time to observe this species is in September to October in the Central Nature Reserve.

Gynacantha subinterrupta Rambur, 1842 (Male-1)

Family: Aeshnidae
Scientific Name: Gynacantha subinterrupta
Common Name: Dingy Duskhawker

Aeshnidae or hawkers are large and robust dragonflies. They are strong flyers. They have large eyes and slender abdomens. Superior appendages of this family species are fairly long and the shape of the appendages is important in identification of the species.

During the day, they adopt a vertical position at rest, usually hanging from twig or on the bark of tree.

Gynacantha subinterrupta belongs to the Aeshnidae family. This  is an uncommon species in Singapore and I have seen them in places like Bukit Timah mountain biking trail, Chestnut forests and Mandai forests. It is fairly difficult to come across this species as they normally roost in dense vegetation deep in swampy forests during the day.

For ID purposes, there is a  dark T-shaped mark on the upper surface of the frons and the interior appendages is dark in colour.

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Thorax markings
Thorax markings
Dark interior appendages, which is fairly short
Dark interior appendages, which is fairly short