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.

Gynacantha dohrni_2
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.


Rhyothemis phyllis (Sulzer, 1776)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Rhyothemis phyllis
Common Name: Yellow-Barred Flutterer

Yellow-Barred Flutterer is a very widespread and common dragonfly in Singapore, and other South East Asia regions. It is commonly found at marshy swampland, ponds, reservoirs, and open grasslands.

This species is unmistakeable. Males and females look similar. The thorax and abdomen are dark, and the hindwing base has a very distinctive barred yellow and dark brown pattern.

A few years ago,  I have often seen this species flying in swarms especially at the vicinity of Bukit Timah Nature Reserves, but this scene is more and more uncommon nowadays. They are sun-loving species and it is a sight to see them gather in swarms, gliding in the air and feeding small insects.

Male - dorsal view
Male – dorsal view
Male - side view
Male – side view
Female - dorsal view
Female – dorsal view
Female - side view
Female – side view
A mating pair in action
A mating pair in action

Teinobasis ruficollis (Selys, 1877)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Teinobasis ruficollis
Common Name: Red-tailed Sprite

Red-tailed Sprite is moderately rare in Singapore, very localised and mainly found in marshes and forest pools at the Bukit Timah, and Central Nature Reserves.

The male’s thorax is red with deep metallic blue-green band on dorsum of synthorax. The abdominal segments from 8-10 is red. Female is similar but the colour is duller.

Males tend to perch very low near to water surface  at forest swamp. Female of this species is very rare.

A mating pair
A mating pair

Podolestes orientalis Selys, 1862

Family: Megapodagrionidae
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.

Mating pair
Mating pair
A young adult with white pterostigmata
A young adult with white pterostigmata

Devadatta argyoides (Selys, 1859)

Family: Amphipterygidae (Grisettes)
Scientific Name: Devadatta argyoides
Common Name: Malayan Grisette

Malayan Grisette is an uncommon damselfly which is very localised and is only found in the primary forest streams in the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserve of Singapore.

This damselfly is robust and has a dull brown-bluish colour throughout the thorax. The abdomen is brownish with yellowish side spots. Wings are hyaline.

Female is duller in colour, more robust, but otherwise, similar to male in appearance.

A mating pair
A mating pair
A male photo taken along a running stream in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
A male photo taken along a running stream in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve