Scientific Name: Mortonagrion arthuri
Common Name: Arthur’s Midget
Mortonagrion arthuri is a locally rare species of damselfly which is confined to mangrove habitats around Singapore, particularly Pulau Ubin, Pulau Semakau and Sungei Cina.
Their natural habitats are inlets of mangrove swamps where they like to rest on the tip of an emergent twig of mangrove trees.
Male has two color forms. Blue form and yellow form. The blue form has blue stripes on the side of the thorax and blue postocular spots; while the yellow form has similar features but in yellow. Male also has distinct blue spots on the segment 8 of it’s abdomen.
Females are duller in color. It has brown thorax with similar stripes to the male. Young female also has the distinct spots on it’s abdomen. Older female has the spots completely obscured.
In general, males of mortonagrion arthuri are more rarer than females.
Males of this species are generally hard to find. I have seen a couple of females at Pulau Ubin but not a single male.
I have better luck at Sungei Cina, where I managed to captured a couple of males both in blue and yellow form.
In Singapore, not many photos of this species has been available in the internet. I hope these photos could add to the archive of the diversity of odonata found in Singapore’s natural environment.
Scientific Name: Diplacodes trivialis
Common Name: Blue Percher
This small species of dragonfly is one of the more common dragonfly that can be found in Singapore. It frequents open marshes in disturbed areas, wastelands, and fringes of the forest reserves. This species sometimes wonder far from the water source.
I found this species to be quite common along the bicycle track near Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, at the open grassland at Chestnut Avenue, at the old Kanji Nature trail, and even at the Garden by the Bay.
The male is blue in colour and as it matures, pruinose develops, and it becomes powdery blue in colour. The abdomen segment 9 to 10 is black and the anal appendages is white. It has blue eyes.
Female has pale green yellowish markings on it’s black body. The eyes are brownish on top and yellow below. Young females are more yellowish in colour.
This species often flies horizontally and very near to the ground. They are skittish and sensitive to any movements in the surrounding. Not an easy species to approach.
Scientific Name: Raphismia bispina
Common Name: Mangrove Dwarf
This is an uncommon species of dragonfly which inhabits mangrove swamps. It can be found at Changi, Pulau Ubin, Pulau Tekong, Mandai, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and other offshore islands. It is one of the dragonfly species that live and breeds in the salt water of back mangroves swamps and the surrounding vegetation.
The male Raphismia bispina looks like a smaller version of a Brachydiplax chalybea. It is in fact much smaller, lighter, and has a clear wing base. The male tend to perch for long period of time defending their territories against rival males in the mangrove swamps.
The thorax of the male is slate blue with mottled yellow marking on the sides. The eyes are dark brown on top and yellow below. The abdomen is slate blue with the last four segments black. There are two short spines behind the legs and beneath the thorax.
Sub-adult male. The series of whitish streaks on the abdomen against the slate blue and black body is striking.
Another sub-adult but slightly more matured male. It has lesser streaks on the sides of the abdomen than the earlier male.
In Singapore, this species can be found whole year round in the mangrove swamps. I have seen them at Pulau Ubin and SBWR. A small and inconspicuous dragonfly but not difficult to find in the mangrove swamps. At times, they could be quite abundant.
Scientific Name: Aethriamanta aethra
Common Name: Blue Adjutant
Blue Adjutant is a small and inconspicuous Libellulid. The Body length is about 27-30mm. It is rare in Singapore and found at open swamp forest and well-vegetated ponds in open country.
I have seen this species at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves fresh water ponds; Chestnut Forest; and Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West. For adult male, it is generally bluish in colour on the thorax and part of the abdomen. The last four segments of the male’s abdomen are dark and a very distinctive dark brown patches at the base of the hind wings.
Young male is light brown in colour with dark markings at the thorax. Wind Venation of this species is open.
Scientific Name: Rhyothemis triangularis
Common Name: Sapphire Flutterer
Sapphire Flutterer, an uncommon dragonfly, tend to inhabit ponds, streams, and reservoirs. So far, I have only encountered this species a couple of times, at MacRitchie Reservoir.
This species is very distinctive and unmistakeable in appearance. Males and females are similar. Eyes reddish brown on top and dark brown below. Thorax and abdomen are dark metallic blue. Most distinctive are a pair of wings that have a broad and deep purplish blue patches. Males tend to be brighter and females more darker in colour.
R. triangularis is the smallest Rhyothemis species that can be found in Singapore.
Scientific Name: Vestalis amethystina
Common Name: Common Flashwing
This is a relatively large damselfly, the total body length is about 50-56mm and commonly found near forest streams at Central Catchment Nature Reserves and Bukit Timah Nature Reserves. So far, I have seen this species at MacRitchie reservoir -along the board walk, Upper Seletar Reservoir, Upper Pierce Reservoir, Chestnut Ave forest, and Dairy Farm Nature Reserves.
Males and females look quite alike, the main difference is their anal appendages. Both has metallic green body with very long and thin legs. It has a pair of transparent wings which show off a sparkling bluish purple iridescence from reflection from the light.
This species tend to occur on smaller streams in the primary forests.
Scientific Name: Acisoma panorpoides
Common Name: Trumpet Tail
This dragonfly is commonly found at open disturbed habitats including grassy swamps, edges of the reservoirs with short grassy vegetation, ponds, and drains. So far, I have seen this species at places like MacRitchie reservoir, Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West, and small streams at Central Nature reserves.
As it’s name suggest, this species is unmistakable by it’s unique shape of it’s abdomen. Male has light blue eyes and body. Female is similarly shaped and patterned, but the colour of the eyes and body is more greenish.
This dragonfly is quite small in size and very inconspicuous when they perched among grassy vegetation.
They are very aggressive dragonfly and will eat all kinds of smaller insects, including damselflies.
Scientific Name: Indothemis limbata
Common Name: Restless Demon
This species has been listed in the Singapore Red Data Book as critically endangered species. It is classified in Mr. Tang’s book as a Rare species which occurs in open marshes with emergent plants. So far, I have seen this species only at MacRitchie reservoirs.
Generally, the male of this species is quite dark. The thorax is dark-blue whilst the abdomen is lighter blue. The extremities of the wing tips are tinted with dark-brown, and there is a dark patch at the base of the hindwings, a smaller one at the base of the forewings.
The males are very active in the early morning and midday, chasing away rivals whilst establish their territories. Female is paler, and so far, has not been observed in Singapore.
Scientific Name: Trithemis festiva
Common Name: Indigo Dropwing
Trithemis festiva is a very attractive dragonfly which inhabits fast flowing streams through open grasslands.
Male has dark blue synthorax and bluish abdomen with orange streaks. There is a brownish patch at the hindwing base. Superficially, male looks like Indothemis limbata, but lacks dark wing tips. Female is brownish yellow with dark markings on the thorax. Females are often found inlands, tree tops and therefore rarely seen.
Scientific Name: Podolestes orientalis
Common Name: Blue-spotted Flatwing
Blue-spotted flatwing is an inconspicuous, moderately robust damselfly which spread it’s wings flat when resting. It is commonly found in lowland swampy forest and small streams in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Male has variegated blue markings on it’s thorax. Female has similar markings but duller. Immature adult has white pterostigmata.