Damselfly (16b) – Amphicenis gracilis, Male

I am happy to have finally photographed a male, Amphicenis gracilis. Typically of this species, it perched near a small pool of smelly muddy water under very dim surrounding.  It was pretty tough shooting in such poor lighting condition especially this damselfly is highly sensitive to the use of flash.  As such, most of my images are captured without flash such as this one:

(Lornie Trail - 21 May 2011)

The following image is the only acceptable shot with flash:

(Shot with fill flash)


I will certainly revisit this place to get improvement shots as well as close-up.
See related posts:

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)

Dragonfly (43) – Macromia cincta

Family : Corduliidae
Common Name : Stream Cruiser
Status : Rare
Location : Lornie Trail

According to the Book on Dragonflies of Singapore, this is a huge dragonfly which can be seen flying along forest trails near swampy areas.  It is a rare species which is knowm to be found at MacRitchie Resevior. They have beautiful bluish-green eyes and there is an unmistakable whitish band on the side of its thorax.

(Lornie Trail – 20 Jan 2011)

I was glad to spot this dragonfly hanging on a tree branch when I went with 2 friends for odonata hunting at Lornie Trail yesterday.  The eyes of this dragonfly are more bluish in colour and my guess was that it should be a female which was later correctly confirmed by Mr Tang.  It was quite cooperative and I managed to take both the dorsal and side views.  Unfortunately the sunlight was harsh and I couldn’t get a good shot of the dorsal view ie. the bright branch in the background is quite distracting.

Having said that, I am still happy with what I have as it is my first dragonfly post in 2011!

(Side view)

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)

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 (38) – Macrodiplax Cora

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Coastal Glider
Status : Common
Location : Lornie Trail

M. Cora is a middle-sized dragonfly species with a relatively large head.  The male has a dark brown thorax and its abdomen is red in colour while the female has light orange-yellow thorax and abdomen.  The immatured male looks similar to the female except that its colours is a little darker.  Both sexes have distinguishable thick broken black marking on the upperside of the abdomen. 

(Immatured male – Lornie Trail, 25 Aug 2010)
Although this species is classified as common, strangely, this was my first sighting in my 3 years of chasing dragonflies.  There were 2 of them perching on a dry twig quite a distance from the reservior.  Occasionally, they would fight one another but returned to the same perch.  An easy species to photograph.
(Frontal view – Lornie Trail, 25 Aug 2010)

Dragonfly (37) – Chalybeothemis fluviatilis

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Green-eyed Percher
Status : Uncommon
Location : Lornie Trail

This is a small and thin uncommon dragonfly which is slightly smaller than that of the Diplacodes Trivialis.  As its common name suggests, both sexes have attractive green eyes.  The thorax of the male is metallic dark blue colour.  Accordingly to the Dragonflies of Singapore’s Photographic Guide Book, the female is similar but with brown colour on the dorsum of thorax and the wing base tinted with brownish yellow.

(Male – Lornie Trail, 25 Aug 2010)

Similar to my 2 previous posts, this male was also sighted at the edges of Macritchie Reservior along Lornie Trail.  A skittish species which did not allow me to go nearer than 2 metres.  I could only shoot from the walking path looking down into the reservior water where this dragonfly perched just slightly above.

(Dorsal view – Lornie Trail, 25 Aug 2010)

I was excited to witness a mating pair but unfortunately it lasted only for a minute or so and I was too slow to get a good shot at them.

(Mating pair – Lornie Trail, 25 Aug 2010)

Dragonfly (36) – Indothemis Limbata

Family : Libelluidae

Common Name : Restless Demon
Status : Critically endangered
Location : Lornie Trail

This species is listed in the Singapore Red Data Book as critically endangered.  The male is dark blue in colour with some silver markings at the last few segments of its adbomen.  The colour of the female is said to be paler and is even more rare.

(Male – Lornie Trail, 23 Aug 2010)
On 23 Aug 2010, 2 males were spotted around the reservior edges along the Lornie Trail.  They perched on some leaves in the middle of the water making it difficult to shoot.  The above image was taken with my tripod set at the slope of the reservior edge.   I had to attach my 1.4TC to get a reasonable reach to this dragonfly.  Fortunately, it stayed at this perch for a long period enabled me to take some decent shots.
(Lornie Trail – 23 Aug 2010)
I revisited Lornie Trail on 25 Aug 2010 and I am glad to obtain an improvement shot of this species.
(Lornie Trail – 25 Aug 2010)

Dragonfly (35) – Aethriamanta Brevipennis

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Scarlet Adjudant
Status : Rare
Location : Lornie Trail

Aethriamanta BrevipennisIt is a small and short species but strongly built with broad abdomen.  The male is bright red in colour which looks a little like a small version of Orthetrum Chrysis.  The female is yellowish brown in colour.

(Male – Lornie Trail, 23 Aug 2010)
Today is my first encounter of this male species at Lornie Trail.  It preferred to perch lowerly, about 10 -15 cm above the reservior water and it appeared to enjoy perching under the bright sunlight.    As such, it is not easy to photograph and I could only manage some record shots.
(Male – Lornie Trail, 23 Aug 2010)