Mortonagrion arthuri Fraser, 1942

Family: Coenagrionidae
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.

Female mortonagrion arthuri. Notice the blue stripes and blue spots on the abdomen. This specimen was found at Pulau Ubin.
Same female as above.
Another female at Pulau Ubin. This is a much older female where the abdomen is almost black with no visible spots on it’s abdomen.
Another old female. The end of the abdomen are almost covered with earth. A sign of ovipositing on muddy soil.
This female was found at Sungei cina. An old female with a muddy abdomen.
Same female as above. This picture shows a brownish thorax with yellowish strips and postocular spots.
An interesting view of the front which shows the dark brownish eyes and black face. Notice the “dracula-like” mouth!.
Arthur's Midget2-1
Another female at sungei cina. This is a younger female with distinct blue spots at it’s abdomen.
Arthur's Midget1
A lateral view of the above female.

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.

Arthur's Midget-male6
Blue form male #1. It has distinct blue stripes and spots on it’s abdomen. Also notice the unique shape of it’s postocular spots
Male #1. side view.
Male #1. Lateral view
Arthur's Midget-male7
Male #1. Frontal shot showing the interesting facial features.
Male #2. Young male, blue form.
Male #2. Dorsal view. Notice the unique postocular eye spots, slim blue stripes and blue marks on the abdomen’s segment 8.
Male #2. Appendages are black The superior appendages are shorter than the inferiors.
Arthur's Midget-male1-1
Male #3, yellow form. taken against the swampy mangrove.
Male #3. Lateral view. Notice the small spots at the side of the abdomen.
Arthur's Midget-male3-1
Male #4 yellow form. Why is this specimen looks abit greenish in color?
Male #4. yellowish / greenish male form.
Male #4.

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.


Copera marginipes (Rambur, 1842)

Family: Platycnemididae
Scientific Name: Copera marginipes
Common Name: Yellow Featherlegs

Yellow Featherlegs is a fairly common damselfly which inhibit small streams, sluggish and often muddy channels, swamps around forest edges. In Singapore, I have encounter this species at Chestnut forest, and the forest around Mandai and Kranji.

This species is easily recognizable. Male has dark thorax with yellow streaks. The legs are yellow and flatten and the last two abdominal segments including the anal appendages are white.

Female has duller white or yellow streaks and abdomens are black.

Both immature male and female have white bodies and they are called – the “Ghost Form”.

A mating couple. Near a forest stream in Mandai.
An adult male. Notice the yellow streaks on it’s thorax and yellow legs.
A fairly young adult male. Some abdominal segments are still whitish.
Another male. Notice the white abdominal segments.
Young immature “ghost form”male.
Another immature “ghost from”male.
The duller adult female. This individual has it’s abdominal tips whitish.
Another female.
A third female. This looks like a younger specimen.
A “ghost form”female.
Another couple in tandem.
An unfortunate male. Dead in the hands of a Robberfly.

Rhyothemis phyllis (Sulzer, 1776)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Rhyothemis phyllis
Common Name: Yellow-Barred Flutterer

Yellow-Barred Flutterer is a very widespread and common dragonfly in Singapore, and other South East Asia regions. It is commonly found at marshy swampland, ponds, reservoirs, and open grasslands.

This species is unmistakeable. Males and females look similar. The thorax and abdomen are dark, and the hindwing base has a very distinctive barred yellow and dark brown pattern.

A few years ago,  I have often seen this species flying in swarms especially at the vicinity of Bukit Timah Nature Reserves, but this scene is more and more uncommon nowadays. They are sun-loving species and it is a sight to see them gather in swarms, gliding in the air and feeding small insects.

Male - dorsal view
Male – dorsal view
Male - side view
Male – side view
Female - dorsal view
Female – dorsal view
Female - side view
Female – side view
A mating pair in action
A mating pair in action

Agrionoptera insignis (Rambur, 1842)

Family: Libellulidae
Scientific Name: Agrionoptera insignis
Common Name: Grenadier

This Libellulidae species is quite common in the nature reserves and other forested areas of Singapore.

The male has thin red abdomen, slightly robust, with mottled yellow marking on the thorax. The female is similar but duller yellow markings.

A mating pair
A mating pair

I also suspect a similar but darker species is of the same species as this, shown below.

Very dark pruinescence but same species?
Very dark pruinescence but same species?