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Archibasis rebeccae (Kemp, 1989)

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Archibasis rebeccae
Common Name: Rebecca’s Sprite

Male A.Rebeccae

Archibasis rebeccae is a very rare damselfly species that has been recorded only once in Singapore in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve on 2009. This species appears to be endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. It occurs in lowland primary forests and streams.

This individual was taken on a trip to MacRitchie Reservoir’s forest in 2013. It was found along a quiet trail along Sime forest.

Male of this species are lighter blue. The appearance is very similar to A. melanocyana, and A. incisura. Segments 8 and 9 of the abdomen are blue. There are tiny blue spots on the dorsum of segment 10 of the abdomen. The superior appendages are strongly clubbed.

There is an interesting article about this species by Robin Ngiam.

A long distance shot
A shot showing the tail section
Close -up of the anal appendages, showing the blue spots at segment 10
This species has large postocular blue spots and mainly blue face

It is frustratingly difficult to identify this species of damselfly. I hope my Id is correct.

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Idionyx yolanda Selys, 1871

Family: Corduliidae
Scientific Name: Idionyx yolanda
Common Name: Shadowdancer

 

This small and lightly build dragonfly is quite rare and localised in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve of Singapore. They inhabits in small forest streams in the nature reserve. It is listed as critically endangered species in the Singapore Red Data Book. So far, I have only encountered this species a couple of times at the forests at Upper Seletar Reservoir, MacRitchie Reservoir, and Upper Pierce Reservoir.

The eyes are brilliant green. The thorax are short and compact, metallic green, with yellow lateral band. The anal appendages are very distinctive, the inferior being long, trifurcated towards tip.    There are yellow patches at the base of the wings.

Males and females are similar in appearance. Due to their small in sizes and greenish-black in colour, it is not easy to spot them in the forests. Occasionally, this species is observed flying erratically, non-stop, over a small area in the forest.

Adult Male
Adult Male
Adult male in side view.
Adult male in side view.
Female
Female
Female in partial dorsal view.
Female in partial dorsal view.
Male with close-up thorax.
Male with close-up thorax.
Male with close-up anal appendages.
Male with close-up anal appendages.
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Leptogomphus risi Laidlaw, 1933 – female

Family: Gomphidae
Scientific Name: Leptogomphus risi
Common Name: Ris’Clubtail

This species of medium-size gomphid is very rare in Singapore. As stated in the book of “Dragonflies of Singapore”, so far, only a single male has been recorded in Singapore on 7th March 2004. This species is said to be found in Malaysia, southern Thailand and Singapore, where it inhibits lowland swamp forests.

On 23rd June 2013, my friends and I were at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve where we found a single female individual of this species resting on a fern leaf at the nearby stream.

This species is recognised by very slender abdomen which are predominantly black. There are two yellow stripes on the dorsal side of the thorax. Eyes are green and some yellow markings on the face.

The dorsal side of the thorax showing clearly the two yellow stripes which are almost parallel, as shown above.

Another lateral shot of the same female.

The “face”shot with distinct yellow markings.

Incidentally, another teneral female of the Leptogomphus risi was collected recently on 10th April 2013 at the stream at Venus trial. Read the interesting article HERE.

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Orchithemis pruinans (Selys, 1878)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Orchithemis pruinans
Common Name: Blue Sentinel

O. Pruinans is a rare species of dragonfly and is known from a few localized site at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Males are often seen at their favorite sites near to slow flowing streams or forest pools in the nature reserve. Females have so far not been recorded in Singapore yet, but the recent photo of a copula which I have taken could well be one of the few rare shots of the female species ever recorded here.

Male typically has a black thorax and abdomen. The wings are narrow and the abdomen is thinner and longer than the similar looking O. pulcherrima. The powdery bluish-white at the 2nd to halfway along the 4th segment of the abdomen is a prominent marking of this species. Eyes are reddish on top and green below.

Male – lateral view
Male – dorsal View
A rare sight of a pair in tandem. This female, I believe is a young individual. It is brown in color. The mating lasted for just a few seconds, and the female oviposits immediately at the nearby forest pools.
A rare sight of a pair in tandem. This female, I believe is a young individual. It is light brownish in color. The mating lasted for just a few seconds, and the female oviposits immediately at the nearby forest pools. The couple in the featured image shows a more matured female, which is dark blueish in colour. This pair was taken at another occasion.
This is the male of the above mating pair.
This is the male of the above mating pair.
A rare color form of the male. This individual is generally brownish in color with a few dark patches at the thorax and abdomen. This was my first sighting of this species in this color form.
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Ceriagrion chaoi Schmidt, 1964

Family: Coenagrionidae
Scientific Name: Ceriagrion chaoi
Common Name: Fiery Coraltail

Ceriagrion chaoi is a rare damselfly species that has been found only at very few places in Singapore, such as Bishan Park, and MacRitchie Reservoir.

In June 2013, I saw this species at an unrecorded place at the Western side of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. There are at least a pair of this damselfly ovipositing on the submerged water plants at the reservoir. It seems that this species only appear late in the morning and males are more likely to be seen, whilst females are less common.

The male has a striking red abdomen and an olive green thorax. The eyes and mouth are red. Females are less striking with dull olive green thorax.

Male
Male
An immatured male
A teneral male
Female ovipositing on submerged vegetation with the male on guard
Female ovipositing on submerged vegetation with the male on guard
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Risiophlebia dohrni, Krüger, 1902

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Risiophlebia dohrni
Common Name: Potbellied Elf

Potbellied elf is a very small (hindwing 19 mm) and rare dragonfly. It can only be found at a very localised area in the Central Nature Reserve. It’s natural habitat is shaded pools or sluggish streams in the nature reserves. Due to it’s scarcity, it is listed as endangered species in the Singapore Red Data Book.

A unique species, it has a greatly swollen 1-3 abdominal segments, the remaining segments being thin and curved downward. The eyes are reddish brown, and thorax and abdomen are dark metallic with yellow markings.

I have observed a single female and a mating pair at only two occasions at the Nature Reserves.

IMG_8251.2013.6.23S

A Single Female
A Single Female
Dorsal View of the Female
Dorsal View of the Female
A Pair of Mating Potbellied Elf
A Pair of Mating Potbellied Elf

 

 

Heliogomphus kelantanensis, Laidlaw 1902, Female

Family: Gomphidae
Scientific Name: Heliogomphus kelantanensis
Common Name: Malayan Grappletail

Female of Heliogomphus kelantanensis is extremely rare and the general appearance is similar to that of the male. It has uniform olive green sides to the thorax and the side of the abdomen has a series of yellow markings. It is with extreme luck that we found two female individuals at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve in June 2013. The first female was found about 100 metres away from the forest streams. She was resting on a small leaf by the side of the forest trail, perhaps waiting for the right timing to mate with the male nearby the streams. The second female was found nearer to the other streams deeper into the trail.

According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) 2013, the only record of the female of this species is by Lieftinck , 1932 who described the larva based on a female, presumably reared to adulthood. the female had not been described previously.

It is hope this species could continue to survive in our nature reserves.

Female-1
Female-1
Female-1
Female-1
Female-2
Female-2
Female-2
Female-2
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Heliogomphus kelantanensis, Laidlaw 1902, Male

Family: Gomphidae
Scientific Name: Heliogomphus kelantanensis
Common Name: Malayan Grappletail

According to the book “Dragonfly of Singapore””, H. kelantanensis has been recorded only four times in Singapore. In year 2011, I was extremely lucky to found one male species in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This is a very rare gomphid which inhibit clear forest streams in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, and is endemic to P. Malaysia and Singapore.

This species has bluish-green eyes. The thorax is uniform olive green with some green markings on the dorsum.  The male abdomen is black and the anal appendages is dark and short.

Male Malayan Grappletail perched patiently on twig above forest stream in the Nature Reserve
Dorsal view of the male.
Dorsal view of the male.

Libellago hyalina, Selys, 1859 – Female

Family: Chlorocyphidae (Jewels)
Scientific Name: Libellago hyalina
Common Name: Clearwing Gem

The female of Libellago hyalina is as attractive as the male, in my opinion. The abdomen of the female has two colour form, a striking golden-orange coloured form and the dark grey coloured form.

This species usually appear in late morning, perching lowly on grass or twigs. They seem to be very active in the late morning to noon.

The abdomen of the young female is golden-orange in colour.

This is another coloured form, dark grey.

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Libellago hyalina, Selys, 1859 – Male

Family: Chlorocyphidae (Jewels)
Scientific Name: Libellago hyalina
Common Name: Clearwing Gem

Clearwing Gem is truely the flying jewels in the forests of our nature reserve. Although widespread in the Sundaland, they are rare in Singapore and can only be found at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This species inhibit slow flowing forest streams as well as swampy areas in the nature reserves, where both males and females prefer to perch lowly on twigs and leaves in the open areas near to streams or swamp.

Males are brightly coloured and the colour of their abdomen can range from glowing purple, to steel blue, to bluish grey when they matured. Females are slightly more common than males and they also have striking colours from bright orange to bluish grey.

Libellago hyalina is the third and last species of Chlorocyphidae (Jewels) that is still surviving in Singapore, (the fourth species, Libellago stigmatizans is extinct). All Libellago species of Singapore should be protected.

This is the glowing purple abdomen form when male is at the young adult stage

As the male matures, the abdomen slowing change to steel blue form

At adult stage, the abdomen is bluish grey in colour