Behaviours of Libellago Lineata

I was fortunate to witness some interesting behaviours of Libellago Lineata recently.  I saw a few pairs of males involving in territorial fights on separate occasions.  When they fight, the two males would confront  and face one another in mid air. They hover a few seconds and make forward movements but without contact.  Usually, one would flee the area after a minute or so but it would come back shortly to challenge the temporary winning male again until the utimate victor is declared!

(Two males involving in territorial fight – 29 Sep 2010)

The winning male has the right of the territory usually within a small area of not more than 3 metres.  I was told that female Lineata normally perch high up in trees and would come down to find a mate when they are ready to do so.  I have seen 3 mating pairs within 2 days and what was interesting is that unlike other damselflies where they usually mate for a long period (sometime in hours), Lineata only mates for about 20 to 30 seconds! Within such a short period of mating time, getting a good shot at it depends alot on luck.  I only managed to shoot about 20 shots from the 3 mating pairs add together, most of which are not of the best quality but I am happy to have finally got a good record mating shot of this species.

(A mating pair in wheel formation – 29 Sep 2010)

  
After separation from mating, the female would perch on nearby floating log or large tree roots to lay eggs by submersing its adbominal tip into the water.

(A female dips the tip of its adbomen into water to lay eggs)

Based on my observation, the ovipositing process takes about 15 to 30 minutes.  During this period, the male will guard the ovipositing female from the disturbance by rival males by perching very nearby.  The female does not lay its eggs on a fixed spot, it would crawl usually forward as they ovipositing.  Sometimes they would fly away for a second or two but return to the perch.  During this egg laying process, there are good apportunities to shoot both the male and females in a single frame ie. side by side, back to back, facing each other, etc.

(A male guarding the ovipositing female)

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Damselfly (30) – Libellago Lineata

Family : Chlorocyphidae
Common Name : Golden Gem
Status : Rare
Location : Lower Pierce Reservior

According to the The Singapore Dragonflies Book, this Golden Gem has only been recorded at Mandai forest stream.  The male has a similar thorax of Libellago Hyalina but it can be easier distinuished with its golden-yellow markings on the first 5-6 abdominal segments and black colour from segment 7-10.  The female is said to be bigger with greyish & dark marking on its thorax and abdomen.

(Juvenile Male – Lower Peirce Reservior, 23 Sep 2010)

The above damselfly was spotted perching on a dry twig near the edge of Lower Peirce Reservior.  From afar, based on at its colour and size, it looked like a female L. Hyalina to me.  But when I moved closer, I got the feeling that it could be a juvenile male L. Hyalina.  It was quite cooperative acutally but I could photograph only 3 shots due to my carelessness.  My tripod touched the twig accidentally when I moved closer causing it to shake violently.  It flew away and disappeared into nowhere!  I searched high and low for the next 20 mins or so but I could not locate it.

I seek Mr Tang’s advice on its id and he told me that this could be a juvenile male, L. Lineata.  It doesn’t quite look like what was described above as its colours have not fully developed yet.  A great find accordingly to him as it means that this species can be found elsewhere other than in Mandai forest.  He  asked me for the exact location which I obliged as he wanted to study this species further.  I shall visit this place again with the hope of shooting the adult species soon.

Afternote : I revisited this morning and was rewarded with this shot below.  The striking yellowish orange colour of this beautiful damselfly is particularly attractive to me.

(Adult Male – Lower Peirce Reservior, 27 Sep 2010)

(Male dorsal view – 27 Sep 2010)

Dragonfly (42) – Orchithemis Pruinans

Family : Libelluidae
Common Name : Blue Sentinel
Status : Rare
Location : Upper Peirce Forest

This is a rare forest species which prefers to perch under shaded areas.  The male has dark thorax and abdomen.  Abdominal segments 2-4 are powdery bluish-white.  It looks very similar to the dark form of male Orchithemis Pulcherrima except that O. Pruinans is slighter larger and its abdomen is thinner and longer.  The white marking of O. Pulcherrima covers only the second and third segments of its abdomen. The female is said to be brown in colour which has not been recorded in Singapore.

(Male – Upper Peirce, 20 Sep 2010)

This male was spotted recently at Upper Peirce forest.  I have originally thought that it was an uncommon dark form male O. Pulcherrima, which I was glad to add to my collection.  Little did I know that it was actually a rare O. Pruinans making me even happier!  It is an easy subject to photograph as it stays at the fixed spot for a long period.  Even if it flew away, it would return or perch very nearby.  The only problem is the poor lighting as it always choose a shaded area to perch.  I saw quite a no. of them around the vincinity but I am unsure whether they were O. Pulcherrima or O. Pruinans now.

(Side view – Upper Peirce, 20 Sep 2010)

Reference : A photographic guide on Dragonflies of Singapore.

Damselfly (29) – Pseudagrion Pruinosum ( 赤斑蟌)

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Grey Sprite
Status : Uncommon forest species
Location : Panti Forest, Malaysia

This uncommon damselfly was first recorded in Singapore in 1997.  The male has a pale greyish blue thorax with brown eyes.  A middle-sized species with a relatively long abdomen.  The female is said to be quite different from the male in that it has an olive-green eyes and thorax.  The male is not really an attractive species in my view but what is quite unique about it, is that it has an unmistakeable orange-brown face.

(Male – Panti Forest, 15 May 2010)

This male P. Pruinosum was spotted in a grass patch near an open small stream in Panti Forest, Johor.  A cooperative species that allowed me to get a close-up side view.  I should have taken a frontal close-up showing its unique orange face.  I wish I could spot this species, both the males and female, in Singapore soon.

(Male close-up – Panti Forest, 15 May 2010)

Reference : A photographic guide to the Dragonflies of Singapore

Damselfly (28) – Agriocnemis Nana

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Dwarf Wisp
Status : Very rare
Location : Lornie Trail

This is the smallest damselfly in Singapore, a very rare species.  It is about 2 cm, slightly smaller than Agriocnemis Femina.  The thorax and abdomen of the male are blue in colour with black markings.  It looks like a smaller version of the male Pseudagrion Microcephalum.  The female has a greenish yellow with black marking thorax.

(Lornie Trail, 15 Sep 2010)

I spotted this tiny damselfly species at Lornie Trail this morning.  After I took a single shot, a female dragonfly (Acisoma Panorpoides) suddenly came and preyed on it!  The dragonfly ate so fast that within a few minutes, my precious damselfly species was gone.  My friend found a female nearby but before we could capture it, it flew away.  As this species was very small in size, it was extremely difficult to re-locate it.  A real pity that I did not photograph this species well 😦

(Eaten by a dragonfly – 15 Sep 2010)

Afternote : I revisited Lornie Trail on 20 Oct 2010 and I sighted one male around the same area.  I was happy to capture some improvement shots this time round.

(Male – Lornie Trail, 20 Oct 2010)

As of 2012, I have never seen this species anywhere else in Singapore except at Lornie Trail.  In Malaysia, it can be found at a wetland near Endau Rompin State Park.

(Male – Endau Rompin State Park, 28 Jul 2012)

(Possibly a teneral female – Endau Rompin State Park, 28 Jul 2012)

Dragonflies & Damselflies @ Endau-Rompin National Park

After a 3 days 2 nights landscape photography trip at mersing from 28 – 30 August 2010, Allan, Tony & I extended a day trip to Endau-Rompin National Park to shoot macro. There were quite a no. of damselflies and dragonflies here and these are some that I managed to capture on pixars.

(Indocnemis Orang, Male – the largest damselfly that I have seen so far!)

(Elattoneura analis)
(ID unknown)

(Nannopha Pygmaea, Male – 31 Aug 2010)

(Diplacodes Nebulosa, Male – 31 Aug 2010)
(Diplacodes Nebulosa, Female – 31 Aug 2010)

(Ictinogomphus Decoratus with prey)

(Rhyothemis Obsolescens)
(Trithemis Festiva, Male)

Podasineura Interrupta
Dysphaea Dimidiata

Dragonfly (41) – Nesoxenia lineata

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Striped Grenadier
Status : Uncommon forest species
Location : Lornie Trail, Venus Drive

According to the “Singapore Dragonfly Book”, this is an uncommon forest species which has been recorded  only in MacRichie Reservior and Kent Ridge.  It looks quite similar to Agrionoptera Insignis especially from the side view.  My way of differiating these 2 species are:

(1) N. Lineata is slightly smaller than A. Insignis;
(2) the dorsum of the thorax of N. Lineata is pale blue in colour; and
(3) for N. Lineata, only abdominal segments 6-8 are red in colour while the abdomen of A. Insignis is red throughout.

From the dorsal view, it also looks a little like the male Agrionoptera Sexlineata.

My first sighting of this species was along Lornie Trail just after the golf link.  It perched quite high up on a twig and I had to fully stretch the tripod on the board walk in order to get an eye level shot.  It stayed there for a long period without moving abit except glancing at me occasionally while I took pictures of it.  I wanted to get a dorsal view but it was too high up for me.

(Lornie Trail – 25 Aug 2010)

My 2nd sighting was at Venus Drive. Again, it was not afraid of me and stayed there for quite a while.

(Venus Drive – 2 Feb 2012)

Dragonfly (40) – Urothemis Signata

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Scarlet Basker
Status : Common
Location : Lornie Trail

This is another common dragonfly but my first sighting was only recently at Lornie Trail.  The eyes, thorax  and abdomen are all red in colour. From the dorsal view, there are 2 black marks near the abdomen tip.  I may have seen this species before and mistaken it as Crocothemis Servilia.  Both are all red in colour and you need to take a closer look to differentiate them.

(Male – Lornie Trail, 25 Aug 2010)

There were quite a no. of them flying near the reservior edge and a few of them appeared to enjoy perching under the hot sunlight. I was lucky to find one that perched comfortably under a shaded tree which made it easier for me to shoot. The female is said to be light yellow brown in colour which I hope to see one soon.

Dragonfly (39) – Gynacantha Subinterrupta

Family : Aeshnidae
Common Name : Dingy Duskhawker
Status : Uncommon forest species
Location : Tagore Forest

This uncommon species is large in size with an unique and attractive turquoish green eyes.  The male has a green thorax with green and blue markings on the base of its abdomen.  There is a distinct, dark T-shaped mark on the supper surface of the frons.
This was my first sighting of this dragonfly at the forested area in Tagore Drive this morning.  My first impression was that it should be a Gynacantha Dohrni as both look so similar in terms of size, colours and design.  I had seen G. Dohrni about 2 to 3 times at Venus Drive more than a year ago and, if I recalled correctly, G. Subinterrupta should be slightly bigger in size than G. Dohrni.
This dragonfly perched on a small tree trunk near a fast flowing stream.  The surrounding was quite dim under the forest canopy making it difficult to photograph.  Although I could only manage some records shots on the dorsal view and some close-up shots of it, I am happy to have added this species to my collection.  There are many small branches and leaves surrounding the perch and when I tried to clear them away hoping to get some side view shots, it flew away and disappeared into the forest.
(Male – Tagore Forest, 040910)
Afternote : I joined the Informal Macro Outing Group at Thanggam forest yesterday.  My friend, Allan Lee,  found a uncommon dragonfly and knowing that I like to collect dragonflies, he kindly offer me to shoot.  The surrounding was quite dim and it was difficult to identify its id there.  Mr Tang later confirmed that it was a female G. Subinterrupta which looks similar to the male except for its duller colours. 
(Female – Thanggam Forest, 25 Sep 2010) 

Damselfly (27) – Podasineura Interrupta

Family : Protoneuridae
Common Name : Interrupted Threadtail
Status : Uncommon forest species
Location : Endau-Rompin Natural Park, Malaysia

This is an uncommon damselfly that frequents dark forest streams.  In Singapore, it can only be found in Central Catchment and Bukit Timah Nature Reserves but I have not seen one here yet. 

(Male – Endau-Rompon National Park, 31 Aug 2010)
My first encounter with this species was at Panti forest, Malaysia but I didn’t get any shots of it as I was busy shooting other species.  This was my 2nd sighting and it was spotted recently at a stream in Endau-Rompin National Park. 
(Side view – 31 Aug 2010)
The thorax of the male has nice bright blue bands on it as seen in the above image.  The upper part of the eyes is black and blue colour at the bottom half.
(Dorsal view – 31 Aug 2010)
One way to identify this species is to check the distinctive blue dorsal markings on it abdominal segments 9-10.  Also, there are two blue marks on the head near the eyes.  I hope to meet one in Singapore soon.