Orchithemis pulcherrima – Most colours form dragonfly

O. pulcherrima is a relatively small forest dragonfly species, classified as common and abundant.  This species is interesting but confusing because of its many colour forms, sometimes related to age and sex as stated in Mr Tang Hung Bun’s book “Dragonflies of Singapore”.  The males can appear in five different colours while the females have at least 3.  Are they really common and abundant?  Yes, but only the red form males are most commonly found in forested areas in Singapore.  I have seen them at Venus Drive, Upper Seletar, Upper Peirce, Lornie Trail, Rifle Range, etc.

(Red form male – most common)

The same cannot be said to the other 4 males.  In particular, the dark form, black abdomen & brown adbomen in my opinion are uncommon and rare respectively.  It took me almost 3 years to complete my collection.

(Dark form, black adbomen male – uncommon)


(Dark form, brown abdomen male – rare)

(Male, orange abdomen – relatively common)

(Immature male, yellowish brown abdomen – relatively common)


The females have fewer colour forms.  I have seen about 3 forms so far.  I was fortunate to spot a mating pair at Lornie Trail not too long ago.  Unlike most dragonflies which mate briefly and separated within a minute, this pair lasted about 5 minutes or so allowing me to take some decent shots.

(Mating pair – Lornie Trail)

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