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: 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.
Scientific Name: Camacinia gigantea
Common Name: Sultan
Camacinia gigantea is a large and rare dragonfly which inhabits large ponds, lakes and reservoirs. Although rare, it can be quite common locally especially near edges of forest reserves. I have seen this species at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Chestnut Avenue Forests, Mandai Forests.
This is possibly the largest dragonfly in the Libellulidae family.
The male has a dark red thorax, abdomen, and the red patches also cover about 2/3 of the wings. It is not uncommon to see several males fly rapidly over stagnant ponds or forest pools, often engage in territorial fight. They prefer to hang vertically at their favourite perch and ward off intruders.
Female is slightly stouter and larger than the male. The wings and body are pale brownish in colour. Aged female can appear to be dark red as in males. Female is rarer and often not sighted. They appear only when mating and ovipositing.
I used to see this species at a drainage concrete structure at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. However, the sighting of this species is less common now after the vegetation was cleared from the water-logged structure.
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.
Family: Chlorocyphidae (Jewels)
Scientific Name: Libellago aurantiaca
Common Name: Fiery Gem
This brilliantly coloured damselfly is unmistakeable. In the book “Dragonflies of Singapore”, it mentioned this is an uncommon species but I would think it is a relatively rare species, compared to Libellago lineata and Libellago hyalina. It can only be found at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The habitat for this species is clear, flowing forest streams with sandy bottom. Male is often seen perching on twig, water plants or floating leaves flowing down the streams. So far, I have not seen female of this species yet.
Scientific Name: Lyriothemis cleis
Common Name: Bombardier
Female Lyriothemis cleis is variegated brown in colour and very rare. So far, I have only spotted once at MacRitchie Reservoir.
Scientific Name: Lyriothemis cleis
Common Name: Bombardier
Lyriothemis cleis was first discovered by A.R. Wallace from Singapore in 1854. It is a rare dragonfly and found at Bukit Timah Nature Reserves and MacRitchie Reservoir.
According to some texts, this species lives in pristine dipterocarp forests and the larvae lives in water-filled cavities in plants.
The abdomen is dull red in colour with well-defined segments. The eyes are metallic dark brown and clypeus is milky white.
I have spotted this dragonfly a couple of times in year 2011 at the exact same spot along a forest trail at MacRitchie Reservoir.
Scientific Name: Nannophya pygmaea
Common Name: Scarlet Pygmy
The smallest true dragonfly in Singapore and one of the smallest in the World, the scarlet pygmy has a total body length of merely 16-17mm. It is quite a localised species and commonly found at open grassy and swampy areas as well as inlets and water edges of reservoirs. So far, I have encountered this species at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, MacRitchie Reservoir Nature Reserve, and at the vicinity of Chestnut Ave forests.
The male has a totally red thorax and abdomen. The wing base is tinted with amber. Juvenile male is yellowish brown in colour. Female is darker and the abdomen has a transverse bands of dark brown and white.
Both male and female are very active during noon time. It is a usual sight of seeing this species adopt an obelisk posture during mid-day whilst the sun is right above. I guess this is to minimise exposing their body to intense heat during the day.
This is indeed a cute and lovely dragonfly species – one of my favourites.
Scientific Name: Trithemis aurora
Common Name: Crimson Dropwing
Trithemis aurora is a small but beautiful dragonfly commonly found in ponds, streams, edges of the reservoirs, and weedy drains. They can be found at Singapore Botanic Garden, Dairy Farm Nature Parks, MacRitchie Reservoir, and many other places in Singapore.
The eyes, thorax and abdomen are brilliant glowing red, wing veins are red, and base of hind wings are tinted dark red in male, dark brown in female.
Immature male is brownish in color, similar to female, but without any black markings at the side of the abdomen.
This is a sun loving species. Male and female like to bask under hot sun in an obelisk position.
Scientific Name: Orthetrum chrysis
Common Name: Spine-tufted Skimmer
This dragonfly is very common in ponds, drains, in both nature reserves, parks and other disturbed wastelands.
The male’s eyes are dark grey, thorax is dark brown, abdomen is red. Male has a distinct curved tuft of setae at Segment two of the abdomen. Female is reddish brown with obscure markings.