Damselfly (31) – Libellago Stigmatizans

Family : Chlorocyphidae
Common Name : Orange-faced Gem
Status : Extinct in Singapore
Location : Panti Forest, Johor

Libellago Stigmatizans is one of the 4 Libellago species in Singapore.  While the other 3 species can still be found locally, L. Stigmatizans is classified as “probably extinct” in Singapore.  The male has turquoise-blue and black markings on its thorax with interesting bright orange coloration between its eyes.  The female has similar colours of the other 3 Libellago species which is greyish black in colour.

(Male – Panti Forest, 15 May 2010)

Two males were spotted in a stream about 2 to 3 metres wide, at Panti Forest (Johor, Malaysia) where the water was swift moving but quite muddy. They were flying non-stop and engaged in territorial fights. Occasionally, one would perch near the water surface but the next moment, you would see the 2nd one attacking it and they started fighting in mid-air again. Under such situation, shooting them with a tripod proved to be near impossible. So, I released my camera from the tripod, set to full flash mode and my target was to get both males fighting in the air in a single frame.
As the stream water was almost at knee-level high, I could not squat down as it would wet my backside. Standing would not be able to get close enough to the damselflies, so I had to blend down quite a little like an old man. It was tiring shooting in this position as I had to move where the damsels moved. I had to take a break every 5 minutes or so. This went on for the next half an hour and despite my hard work I failed to get the shots I wanted. I could only manage some flight shots of individual males as a consolation.
Initially, I tried using manual focus but my hands were not fast enough. Autofocus works better for me in this condition.  I am likely to visit Panti Forest in the near future and I hope to meet the female in my next visit there.
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Damselflies from Panti Forest

I joined my nature photography friends to Panti Forest today. There were 15 of us, 10 doing birding while the rest of us focused on macro shooting. Panti forest is more well-known for bird watching and photography, so it was really a pleasant surprise to me that there are so many species of damselflies, many of which cannot be found in Singapore.

(Heliocypha biforata, male)

(Libellago stigmatizans, Orange-faced Gem, male)

(Heliocypha biforata, female)

(Pseudagrion pruinosum, Grey Sprite, 赤斑蟌)

(Elattoneura analis)

(Rhinagrion macrocephalum)