Aethriamanta aethra (Ris, 1912)

Visiting repeatedly this pond in the suburbs of Hanoi, invaded by water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), yielded a range of common species (such as Pseudothemis zonata, Rhodothemis rufa, Crocothemis servilia, Urothemis signata, Brachythemis contaminata, Brachydiplax chalybea, Ceriagrion auranticum, Onychargia atrocyana, Anax guttatus, Sinictinogomphus clavatus, Tholymis tillarga…)
but also, surprisingly, some unexpected goodies...
As with bird-watching, a great deal can be achieved by regularly covering
a "local patch".

 Curiously, Aethriamanta aethra was absent from the odonata list of Vietnam until March 2011 when Dô Manh Cuong and Bui Huu Manh found it during a survey in the mangrove forest of U Minh Thuong National Park, province of Kien Giang, southern Vietnam.

I wrote "curiously" because 4 months after this discovery, I came across this nice species in the... Hanoi suburbs, along a pond which didn't look very healthy, surrounded by a wooded area which was, at one time, a garbage dump ! If this species can accept such ecological conditions, it should be much more common ! Well, in theory... But maybe the explanation is just : the lowland open ponds remain under-explored.

This site was also home to Aethriamantha brevipennis. I took also good close-up shots of a Gomphid (anal appendages included) which, according to Dô Manh Cuong, has never been recorded in Vietnam. Specimens will be collect next year for further study.

Mature male blue pruinosed (thorax and S1-7). I searched individuals at mid-stage but with no success. Maybe they perch higher in the treetops.

A young male, before it becomes heavily pruinosed and looks entirely blue.

Acrobatic postures under the heat of the mid-day sun.

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