Scientific Name: Brachygonia oculata
Common Name: Pixie
This gorgeous little dragonfly was very rare in Singapore. According to records, it was collected by A.R.Wallace in Singapore in 1854. After which no records were known until it was seen again in May 2007 in the Western Catchment area of Singapore.
This attractive small dragonfly is predominantly orange in color with splashes of powdery white to it’s abdomen. The last three segments of it’s abdomen are black.
Female is less attractive and brown in color.
I can count myself as being extremely lucky to have seen a male specimen of this rare dragonfly in Singapore.
Scientific Name: Heliaeschna uninervulata
Common Name: Lesser Night Hawker
Heliaeschna uninervulata aka lesser Nighthawker in the local context is considered to be very rare in Singapore. I have sighted this species a couple of times especially at the Central Catchment Nature Reserves.
The current female species is sighted outside the nature reserve at a place I frequently explore for Gynacantha sp. such a G.basiguttata and G.dohrni. I am quite surprise to find this species over there as my impression is that this species prefers pristine forest with running streams nearby.
Nevertheless I am more than happy to have captured this species again – my third female’s encountered.
I believe this species is quite widely distributed in Singapore as I had bumped into this species at no less than five occasions, all at different locations. The Central Catchment Nature Reserve is the best place to observe this species.
Scientific Name: Mortonagrion arthuri
Common Name: Arthur’s Midget
Mortonagrion arthuri is a locally rare species of damselfly which is confined to mangrove habitats around Singapore, particularly Pulau Ubin, Pulau Semakau and Sungei Cina.
Their natural habitats are inlets of mangrove swamps where they like to rest on the tip of an emergent twig of mangrove trees.
Male has two color forms. Blue form and yellow form. The blue form has blue stripes on the side of the thorax and blue postocular spots; while the yellow form has similar features but in yellow. Male also has distinct blue spots on the segment 8 of it’s abdomen.
Females are duller in color. It has brown thorax with similar stripes to the male. Young female also has the distinct spots on it’s abdomen. Older female has the spots completely obscured.
In general, males of mortonagrion arthuri are more rarer than females.
Males of this species are generally hard to find. I have seen a couple of females at Pulau Ubin but not a single male.
I have better luck at Sungei Cina, where I managed to captured a couple of males both in blue and yellow form.
In Singapore, not many photos of this species has been available in the internet. I hope these photos could add to the archive of the diversity of odonata found in Singapore’s natural environment.
In this post, I would like to showcase a few species of dragonfly and damselfly which could only be found in the mangrove swamps around Singapore’s coastal regions. Areas which I had visited include Sungei Buloh Wetalnd Reserves, Pulau Ubin, and the mangrove swamps around the North Western part of Singapore.
Some species are uncommon such as mangrove dwarf (Raphismia bispina) whilst others are rare, such as the elusive mangrove marshal (Pornothemis starrei) and Arthur’s Midget (Mortonagrion arthuri).
Raphismia bispina (Mangrove Dwarf)
They are uncommon species and one of the few dragonfly species that lives and breeds in the salt water in mangrove swamps. I have seen and recorded this species at Pulau Ubin, SBWR, and Sungei Cina.
A sub-adult male. The thorax is slated blue with some yellow streaks at the sides of the abdomen.
A female pornothemis starrei.
A female Mortonagrion arthuri resting at the tip of the root of mangrove tree. It has brown thorax with blue stripes. Similar to males, it also has distinct blue markings on segment 8 of the abdomen.
2. Pornothemis starrei (Mangrove Marshal)
This species is rare in Singapore. I have come across it once at SBWR and Pulau Ubin and a few occasions at sungei cina.
3. Mortonagrion arthuri ( Arthur’s Midget)
Mortonagrion arthuri is also a mangrove species and could be found at Pulau Ubin and Sungei Cina.
Although not exclusively associate with mangrove habitats, the following two species of dragonfly could also be found there.
It is important to preserve our limited mangrove habitats so the rare species of plants and animals could continue to thrive there.
Scientific Name: Pornothemis starrei
Common Name: Mangrove Marshal
Mangrove Marshall is predominantly a mangrove species of rare dragonfly that can be found in mangrove habitat in most part of Singapore coastal areas. I have encountered this species at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Pulau Ubin, and at the mangrove swamps at Western part of Singapore.
The male has a metallic black body with light bluish pruinescence on the dorsum of the thorax. It also has markings that look like “stars” on the synthorax, that differs between individuals. The abdomen is thin, dark and curved when view from the side It has a pair of attractive greenish-blue eyes.
Females are olive in colour on the sides of the thorax and are rarely encountered.
I have caught many males and females in pixel over a span of a few weeks of this elegant and rare species at the mangrove swamps of Singapore. One has to see the real specimen to appreciate the beauty of the species.
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.
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.
Scientific Name: Pseudagrion rubriceps
Common Name: Orange-faced Sprite
According to the book of dragonflies by Mr. Tang, this very rare damselfly has been found only at two locations in Singapore. These sightings were at Toa Payoh Town Park, and at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
My sighting of this species were at a very remote location at the western part of Singapore. The place has a small running stream surrounded by short and weedy vegetation.
The male has a striking bright orange face with olive green on the dorsum. It has beautiful light blue on the sides of the synthorax and blue markings on segment 10.
It is sad that this species can no longer be found at Toa Payoh Town Park, but elsewhere in Singapore, it can still be found.