Camacinia gigantea (Brauer, 1867)

Family: Libellulidae
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.

Two rival males perching on a twig anticipating for a female arrival
One male tries to dislodge another from his perch.
He has successfully mated with the female upon her arrival. The other rival male has to wait in despair.
Another photo of the two males perching side-by-side, one on top, and the other below.
The same couple moves to the favorite perch while in tandem.
This photo shows the smaller, but otherwise same coloration of the Neurothemis fluctuans in the background.
You can observe the difference of the two species by the pattern of the wings and size.

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.


Pseudothemis jorina Förster, 1904

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Pseudothemis jorina
Common Name: Banded Skimmer

Banded Skimmer is an uncommon species of dragonfly in Singapore. I have seen this species at many locations such as large open water bodies at lower pierce reservoir; large ponds at the Singapore Botanic Garden;  at the forest fringes of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve; Chestnut forest, and Ulu Sembawang Park Connector etc.

The male is basically black with white marking on the 1-3 segments of the abdomen. The female is yellowish with dark markings. Males are often found flying rapidly at open ponds and reservoirs, sometimes chasing rival males. By noon and after, it becomes less active and can be seen perching on twig in the forest. Sometimes, several males can be seen flying in swarm at the fringes of the forest.

Female is rarer, less active and most often encountered inside closed forest.

Male with very prominent white markings at the abdomen
Male – dorsal view. This picture was taken after a slight shower at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The raindrop is still visible on the dragonfly
Female – lateral view, taken at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Another female, taken at Dairy Farm Nature Park