Scientific Name: Macrodiplax cora
Common Name: Coastal Glider
Macrodiplax cora is a common dragonfly species which is found at reclaimed land, reservoirs and coastal areas. In Singapore, I have seen this species at MacRitchie Reservoir, Upper Seletar Reservoir, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and Upper Peirce Reservoir.
Adult male Macrodiplax cora is a medium-sized dragonfly with a body length of 43mm. It has large head and dark brown thorax. Both sexes has a distinctive thick dark broken line along the dorsum of the abdomen.
Female is light orange-yellow on thorax and abdomen.Immature male resemble female in colors. The wings are clear except for a yellowish patch at the base of the hind wing.
This species perches on the tip of twigs or branches along edges of the reservoirs.
Macrodiplax cora may be a migratory species and has been known to be salt-tolerant.
Two male Orthetrum chrysis was seen caught in the submerged mosses and drowned. What causes this to happen? My guess is that they were rival males, chasing one another in territory fight and accidentally got caught and entangled by the submerged vegetation. A sad demise for the voracious killer.
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: Brachythemis contaminata
Common Name: Common Amberwing
Brachythemis contaminata is a common species in Singapore. It can be found in many places in Singapore such as open ponds, reservoirs, both in urban areas as well as nature reserves. I have come into contact this species at Toa Payoh Town Park, Singapore Botanic Garden, Gardens by the Bay, and Kranji Reservoir.
Adult males has wings that are tinted with deep amber and have orange veins and pterostigmata. The abdomen is in deep orange. Immature male is light brown with yellowish pterostigmata. Female is very similar to the immature male. It has wings that are clear, and yellowish brown thorax and abdomen.
This species can tolerate a certain amount of polluted waters. They are a sun-loving species which are active all day until after sunset.
Scientific Name: Orchithemis pulcherrima
Common Name: Variable Sentinel
Orchithemis pulcherrima is a common dragonfly which inhabits swampy forests within the nature reserves. It can be found usually under heavily shaded forest reserves in MacRitchie Reservoir, Upper Pierce Reservoir, Upper Seletar Reservoir, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and many other forested reserves.
This is a narrow winged species. The abdomen is broad and tapers towards the tip. Male has two colour forms. Red form with and without white markings and dark form with pale markings near it’s base. The genitalia on the ventral side of segment 2 of the male is very prominent.
This is the red form without white markings which is very common.
This male individual has a yellowish thorax which is quite distinct.
This male has a dark reddish abdomen with white markings at base of abdomen. This form is not normally seen.
Female with red abdomen is rare. I have seen this female form only three times in Singapore.
Scientific Name: Orthetrum glaucum
Common Name: Common Blue Skimmer
A common species that can be easily found near degraded forested habitats within and outside nature reserves in Singapore. I have seen this species at many locations especially within the forest fringes at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Chestnut Avenue Forest, Upper Seletar Reservoir Park and many other places.
They can be found at or near water sources such as ditches, ponds, small streams and rivers, resting on boulders, tree branches and leaves. Sometimes they are found far away from any water bodies especially at fringes of the forests, and wastelands.
The male has bluish green eyes. The thorax is generally dark blue and abdomen is lighter blue with the last two segments darken. Younger male has a lighter brownish colour. Female is light brown with greyish green eyes. Both aged male and female developed pruinosed over their bodies which are covered with powdery blue colouration.
A snapshot of various copula taken on various occasions.
Scientific Name: Agriocnemis femina
Common Name: Common Wisp
This is a very small damselfly with a wing span of only 9-10 mm. It is a relatively common and widespread species of damselfly in Singapore. It can be found in grassy areas with water bodies such as ponds, lakes, streams, and drains. So far, I have seen this species at Toa Payoh Town Park, Chestnut Forest Trail, Mandai Forest, MacRitchie Nature Reserve, and Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve.
Due to it’s size, this tiny damselfly has often been overlook by photographer. Both males and females developed various colour forms from very young to adult maturity.
Young males are green with black strips on the dorsum and orange tips. Older males developed pruinosed white to it’s thorax. In males, the inferior appendages is longer than the superior appendages, a distinguishing feature of this species.
Young females are cherry red, then develop into bright green with light brown on it’s thorax. Older females are generally olive with darker brown markings.
A. femina is one of the most abundant Agriocnemis species that occurred in Singapore. The other two species are A.nana, and A. pygmaea.
Scientific Name: Brachydiplax chalybea
Common Name: Blue Dasher
Brachydilpax Chalybea is a relatively small dragonfly from the family of Libellulidae, a species which is very common and wide spread in Singapore. It usually inhibits ponds, streams, and some disturbed areas outside the nature reserves. Female is less common and may appear only when mating.
The male of this dragonfly has a powdery blue thorax with light to brown patches. The abdomen is also powdery blue with the last three segments dark in colour. It also has a dark yellowish tint at the base of it’s wings. Female is generally similar in size but has more orangey body and dark markings along the dorsum of the abdomen. Unlike male, female has clear wing base.
Males are often territorial and are very active in the morning and early afternoon. This species is very similar to Aethriamanta gracilis, but the latter species is smaller in size and has a wider wing venation. It is also quite similar to Raphismia bispina, which is rare in Singapore and inhabits only at mangrove swamps.
Female of this species is more attractive, and less common.