Gynacantha basiguttata is a large forest-dwelling species of dragonfly which is rarely seen in Singapore. During the recent dry spell, I have encountered at least four males guarding their own territory in the dry forest pool. Each male perched on their favourite spot which overlook it’s territory. When there is intrusion of the same species male, the territory male will drive away the intruder and return to it’s favourite perch.
The male will stay in their territories for days in anticipation for the arrival of the female. Sometimes very close and violent contact among males do occurred where the sound of wings clasping could be heard.
This time round I did not notice any females around, although I have seen female of another hawker species, Gynacantha dohrni. When female arrives, they will mate with the male and then proceed to lay their eggs in the forest floor, before the rain arrives and flooded the forest floor.
Scientific Name: Gynacantha basiguttata
Common Name: Spoon-tailed Duskhawker
Encountering a rare female Gynacantha basiguttata was lucky enough, let alone a female which oviposit at a forest pool in the secondary forest near Mandai. It was around 10 plus in the morning when I arrived. The forest pool was almost dried up after days of dry weather. It was flooded with fallen leaves and broken branches. Although it was without any trace of water, the soil was quite damp.
This female suddenly appears and starts to oviposit on the damp soil. she spent quite awhile surveying the area and looking for suitable spots. She will hang around at a particular spot for awhile, lay her eggs and then move on to another spot.
She randomly chose her breeding spots, which include decayed leaves, damp soil and rotten logs.
This place is indeed a perfect breeding place for the forest-dwelling duskhawkers.
Scientific Name: Pseudagrion pruinosum
Common Name: Grey Sprite
Grey Sprite is an uncommon damselfly species which was first recorded in Singapore in 1997. This species is mainly found on grassy-bordered of fast flowing streams. It was recorded from Mandai and Central Catchment Reserve.
The male has a dark purplish grey appearance with striking reddish eyes. The blue-grey pruinescence on the thorax increase with age. The abdomen is generally black with the last three segments grey. Males are more commonly seen than females.
Female has olive-green eyes and orange markings on the thorax. Females tend to wonder some distance away from the streams where they hunt for smaller insects and occasional other damselfly.
The mating process is very interesting. Male will generally stay very close to the female when she oviposits. It is not uncommon to see a tandem pair submerged in the water where female oviposits on plant tissues.
Family: Chlorocyphidae (Jewels)
Scientific Name: Libellago lineata
Common Name: Golden Gem
Golden Gem is one of the most attractive damselfly that can be found in Singapore. It is rare and can only be found at two locations, Mandai Stream and Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The male has an attractive golden-yellow markings on the 5-6 abdominal segments. It also has a dark apical spot on the forewing. Young males will defend territories around fallen tree trunk, floating leaves, or twigs. Female is rather rare and has more extensive pale yellowish markings on the thorax and abdomen.
Scientific Name: Gynacantha bayadera
Common Name: Small Duskhawker
Out of the four Gynacantha Sp. that can be found in Singapore, I think Gynacantha bayadera is the most elusive and most hard to find. It is consider rare in Singapore and the two specimens which I took, a male and a female are found at Mandai Forest.
The thorax of this species is entirely green. Unlike the other Gynacantha Sp. that can be found locally here, bayadera does not have a T-shaped mark on the frons. The superior appendages is straight and fairly short.
From my observation, G. bayadera prefer to perch lowly on twig or branch in thick forest and will not move far if disturbed. It’s greenish thorax and small size also blend in perfectly well with the surrounding vegetation. It is a fairly a localized species and quite rare.
Scientific Name: Aethriamanta aethra
Common Name: Blue Adjutant
This is a young male of Aethriamanta aethra and is very rare in Singapore. This was my first sighting of this species in Singapore. It was found at the secondary forest at Mandai. This individual was perching very high up on a bamboo branch. It was quite a distance away from a nearby stream.