Family : Platycnemidae
Common name : Yellow Featherlegs
Status : Common
Location : Chestnut Ave, Segar Road, Venus Drive, Jurong Woods II
This is classified as a common species but not many of us have seen or phogographed it in Singapore. The male has beautiful yellowish thorax, a black obdomen with white marking on it.
(Male – Chestnut Ave, 4 Aug 2009)
The male was first spotted at a stream near Venus Drive but I did not manage to get any shot as it was difficult to approach. Two males were seen perching in a drain near Segar Road few week later. I managed to get some record shots but was still unable to get closer to it. I finally captured a better shot when I found the male again at a stream along Chestnut Avenue Bicycle Trail. This time, the female which has an overall black thorax and obdomen was also found nearby.
(Female – Chestnut Avenue, 17 Aug 2009)
When I revisited the place again 2 day later, a juvenile was found. It has a unique overall white in colour.
(Juvenile – Chestnut Ave, 6 Aug 2009)
My recent sighting of this species where the juvenile, male, female as well as 2 mating pairs were spotted at a small muddy stream at Jurong Woods II on 21 Aug 2010.
Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Grenadier
Status : Common
Location : Venus Drive, Jurong Woods, Chestnut Avenue Nature Trail, Singapore Botanical Gardens, West Coast Park, Rifle Range Nature Trail, Wild Wild West, etc.
This is classified as an uncommon species but I have seen the males on many occasions such as Venus Drive, West Coast Park, Rifle Rifle Range Nature Trail, Jurong Woods, etc. They are usually found in sluggish streams & shady drains. A common species in my opinion.
The male has a a prominent red abdomen with black markings.
(Male – Singapore Botanical Gardens, 22 Dec 2008)
The female is thicker and the colour in its abdomen is duller. The males can be commonly found but not the female. A very cooperative species which usually perches around the same spot for a prolonged period.
Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Common Bluetail
Status : Very Common
Location : Holland Woods, Kranji Nature Trail, Wild Wild West, etc.
(Mating with bright orange female – Holland Woods, 3 Mar 2008)
This is the 2nd most common damselfly species in Singapore. Similar to Bi-coloured damselfly, they are usually found around ponds, drains, lakes, canals, etc. The male is greenish blue in colour but the female occurs in several colour forms, including one with overall bright orange, another with dull olive colour and also one similar like the male.
(Mating with dull olive female – Holland Woods, 25 Jan 2010)
(Mating with a female that has similar colour of the male – Holland Woods, 7 Feb 2010)
Family : Coenagrionidae Common Name : Ornate Coraltail or Bi-coloured Damsel Status : Very Common Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Holland Woods, Wild Wild West, Jurong Woods, Kranji Nature Trail, etc.
(Venus Drive, 16 Sep 2009)
This beautiful damselfly is the most common species in Singapore. They can be easily found in many of our parks particularly around ponds, drains, canal, open streams, etc. They could also be found in our forested areas.
(Singapore Botanical Gardens, 29 Oct 2008)
They are relatively big in size and I have seen them, on a few occasions, attacking and feeding on other species of smaller damselflies. Both sexes have similar appearance except that the female has slightly darker marking.
Being common and having a colourful body, they are also the most photographed species. They are quite approachable and get a close-up shot is fairly easy.
Family : Libellulidae Common Name : Treehugger Status : Common Location : Venus Drive
Female – Venus Drive, 29 Dec 2008
This tree-hugging dragonfly is a common forest species. Both sexes likes to hug tree trunks especially the female. The males can be found perching in dark shady streams as well. The female is light brown in colour with nice pattern on its obdomen while the male has quite a difference appearance. It is dark blue in colour with large black patch at the base of both wings. When they are perching on tree trunks, it is quite easy to photograph as they always come back to the same spot. And with the tree trunks, one would not need to worry too much of the winds.
Family : Amphipterygidae Common Name : Malayan Grisette Status : Uncommon Location : Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, Dairy Farm Nature Park
Male – Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, 18 Feb 2009
This uncommon damselfly was first spotted on the same day as the Drepanosticta quadrata species less than 2 metres away. They seemed to be happy sharing the same territory although accasionally they bumped into one another and had a brief fight. Both will stay at a position for a long time and it was not a problem approaching them. I read that, in Singapore, this species was spotted only at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve which is not true as 2nd sighting was at Dairy Farm Nature Park. This species usually prefers to perch near clear forest streams.
Male – Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, 16 Feb 2009
Unlike other species, it has quite dull colour from head to tail making it difficult to spot in dimly lit streams. The males are greyish in colour while the females are more towards brown in colour.
Common name : Singapore Shadowdamsel Status : Uncommon Location : Bukit Timah Bicycle Trail, Upper Peirce
(Upper Peirce, 18 Nov 2009)
This is a uncommon damselfly that is generally found in primary forest near small streams. According to Singaporre references, this species is known only from Singapore. So I am happy to have spotted this local species perching lowly in a clear stream near Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. It was a narrow stream with lot of rocks it in making it difficult to set up my tripod. Fortunately, the water was shadow and clean and with reasonably good lighting, I managed to get some decent shots. It is a cooperative species to photograph. I spotted this species a few months later in Upper Peirce forest.
Family : Coenagrionidae Common Name : Variable Sprite Status : Uncommon Location : Venus Drive
This is another confusing species because of its age related colour variation. According to Mr Tang, the immature of both sexes, the segments 1-5 of the abdomen are orange to cherry red abdomen but this darkens with maturity and the coloration is predominately black and light blue. This species has unique upper part of eye black with lower part green. I am still not very sure how to differentiate the male from the female.
(Immature female – Venus Drive, 10 Jan 2009)
Immature female – The abdomen darkened from segments 5-7, segments 2-4 remain red. Colours of abdomen lighter than those of the young male, segments 8-9 do not become light blue. Synthorax changes from light yellow to yellow and it does not change to light blue as in the young male.
(Mature female – Venus Drive, 13 Jul 2009)
Mature female – Abdominal segments 1-7 are black on dorsum, blue ventrally; segments 8-9 black with tiny patch of blue on the side of segment 8. Synthorax blue and black with yellow; two narrow blue banks on the dorsum.
(Immature male – Venus Drive, 29 Dec 2008)
Immature male – Abdomen dark from segments 5-7, segments 2-4 remain red, while 8-9 change from light red to light blue. Synthorax is black and blue colour.
(Mature – Venus Drive, 18 Jul 2009)
Mature male – Abdominal segments 1-3 black ondorsum with blue ventrally; segments 4-7 black; segments 8-9 blue. Synthorax blue and black.
(Immature female? – Venus Drive, June 2009)
My guess of the above damselfly should be an immature female. Please drop me a comment if you think otherwise.
(Immature male, close-up side view – Venus Drive, 29 Dec 2008)
(Mature female, close-up side view – Venus Drive, 28 Dec 2008)
Reference : A photographic guide to the Dragonflies of Singapore.
Family : Libellulidae Common Name : Crimson Dropwing Status : Very Common Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Segar Road, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Holland Woods, etc.
(Female – Holland Wood, 27 Dec 2007)
This Dawn Dropwing species is one of the most common dragonflies than can be found near ponds, open streams and lakes. They are very attractive looking and easily noticeable. The female has bright orange colour while the male is deep pink in colour. They are very quite easy to approach and usually not a problem to get some close-up shots.
(Male – Singapore Botanical Gardens, 6 Aug 2008)
(Male close-up – Venus Drive, 19 Feb 2008)
(Female close-up – Singapore Botanical Gardens, 27 Dec 2007)