Dragonfly (25) – Brachydiplax Chalybea

Family : Libellulidae
Common Name : Blue Dasher
Status : Common
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Rifle Range Nature Trail, Segar Road

A relatively small-sized species commonly found in ponds. Males are blue in colour with dark patches while females are brown in colour. Female is less common than male. I have seen the female only once. By the way, I have initially thought that this is a Aethriamanta Gracilis. Both look very similar although B. Chalybea is slightly bigger in size.
(Male - Rifle Range Nature Trail, 22 Apr 10)

(Male – Rifle Range Nature Trail, 22 Apr 10)

(Female - Segar Road, 3 Jan 2009)

(Female – Segar Road, 3 Jan 2009)

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Dragonfly (24) – Neurothemis Fluctuans

Family : Neurothemis fluctuans
Common Name : Common Parasol
Status : Very common
Location : Almost anywhere in Singapore where there are bushes near ponds, streams, lake, reservoirs, etc.

This is easily one of the most common dragonfly species that you can find in Singapore. They are so common that most of the photographers, me included, would give it a miss when seeing them.

(Male - Venus Drive, 25 Nov 2008)

(Male – Venus Drive, 25 Nov 2008)

(Female - Venus Drive, 24 Oct 2009)

(Female – Venus Drive, 24 Oct 2009)

Dragonfly (20) – Orthetrum Testaceum

Family : Libellulidae
Common name : Scarlet Skimmer
Status : Common
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Lornie Trail
(Male – Singapore Botanical Gardens)

A common dragonfly often found in ponds. Male has dark brown-coloured thorax with redish abdomen while female is brown with obscure marking. Males are more common than females. The male looks very similar to Orthetrum Chrysis. 
(Mating, Singapore Botanical Gardens – 22 Jan 2008)

Dragonfly (13) – Ictinogomphus Decoratus Melaenops

Family : Gomphidae
Common Name : Common Flangetail
Status : Common
Location : West Coast Park, Venus Drive, Lornie Trail, Rifle Range Nature Trail, Singapore Botanical Gardens

(Venus Drive, 25 Feb 2009)

(Venus Drive, 25 Feb 2009)

This is one of the biggest dragonflies (about 12 cm long) that I have seen in Singapore, easily 4 times the size of Asian Pintail (see previous post). It is classified as a very common species but I would consider it relatively common as I have spotted them only 4 or 5 times so far.  I first spotted it at West Coast Park and recently at a slow-moving open stream in Venus Drive. It has a aggresive look maybe due to its huge size and certainly not an easy species to get close. The nearest distance that I was able to shoot was more than a metre away but fortunately, it often returned to the same twig where it perched.

On 13 Sep 2010, I finally got an improvement shot of this giant dragonfly.

(Singapore Botanical Gardens - 13 Sep 2010)

(Singapore Botanical Gardens – 13 Sep 2010)

Damselfly (13) – Ceriagrion Cerinorubellum [彩虹細蟌]

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.

Dragonfly (8) – Trithemis Aurora (紫紅蜻蜓)

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)

Damselfly (9) – Onychargia atrocyana (藍彩細蟌)

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Shorttail
Status : Uncommon
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Holland Woods, Lornie Trail

This uncommon damselfly is also known as the Shorttail in Singapore as it has an unusually short abdomen.  The male looks almost black in colour while the female has brown coloured thorax with creamy white stripes.  A mating pair was first spotted at Singapore Botanical Gardens in Jan 2008. Unfortunately it was not well taken as I just started learning photography at that time.

(A mating pair – Singapore Botanical Gardens, 21 Jan 2008)

A few months later in Jul 2008, a female was found at Holland Wood.

(Female – Holland Woods, 2 Jul 2008)

It was fairly cooperative allowing me to take some close-up shots.

(Female close-up – Holland Woods, 2 Jul 2008)

I have seen a mating pair again this time at Lornie Trail Board Walk in 2011 but they flew away before I could properly set up my equipment.

Damselfly (8) – Pseudagrion Microcephalum

Family : Coenagrionidae
Common Name : Blue Sprite
Status : Common
Location : Singapore Botanical Gardens, Chinese Gardens, Lornie Trail

(Male – Lornie Trail, 23 Aug 2010)

This blue sprite damselfly is a beautiful species which is commonly found in ponds and open streams. The male is characterised by an overall bright light blue colour with black stripes on its thorax. The female is light brown with obscure greenish markings. The males are more commonly seen than the females.

(Female – Dairy Farm Nature Park, 25 Apr 2010)

Surprisingly, despite such a common and attractive species, I don’t see many of us photographing it. The reasons could be that they are not an easy species to approach and their habits of perching very lowly in the streams making it difficult to shoot. I personally have seen them many times in Singapore Botanical Gardens and Jurong lakes but have ignored them until recently when I decided to make an effort to shoot it when I spotted many of them in a small stream at Venus Drive. I was lucky to find a mating pair but didn’t have a good shot as the ground and lighting conditions were not ideal.

(Mating pair – Venus Drive, 13 Feb 2009)

(Male closeup – Venus Drive, 13 Feb 2009)
My recent sighting of this species was at Lornie Trail where there are plenty of them.  I was fortunate to capture a mating pair at the edge of the nearby reservior.

(Mating pair – Lornie Trail, 16 Aug 2010)