Coeliccia mingxiensis was recorded from Tam Dao "National Park" in 2009 by Dô Manh Cuong along a swift, rocky stream in a relatively untouched forest area (alt. 800m a.s.l). Specimens were compared with the original description and also confirmed by Xu Qi-han, who described C. mingxiensis based on a single teneral male specimen from
The male of this species is remarkable for its bright yellow hook-shaped marking on dorsum synthorax. According to Dô Manh Cuong, this marking becomes red violet with age.
The side of synthorax is largely yellow with a short reddish stripe.
The last abdominal segments (S10, S9 and distal part of S8) are dirty white, and S9-10 are washed with pale pink.
Caudal appendages are white ivory: the superiors bear a ventral subapical curve and point tooth at about 2/3 of their length (not easy to see, except in ventral view) as well a sharp spine subbasally (dorsal view); the inferiors have a downward apex. In lateral view, superior appendages slightly shorter than the inferiors.
Until recently Coeliccia mingxiensis was only known from Mingxi (
Fujian Province, China) and Tam Dao (northern Vietnam), in montane forests. But in April-May 2015, T. Kompier recorded this species in 2 other northern Xuân Son National Park (lowland forest) and Mount Mau Son (montane forest, close to the Chinese border). Vietnam sites:
At Tam Dao, this species is known along a 100-200m stretch of one single stream. It is quite common there at the right time of year but has never been spotted elsewhere in this mountain range (Dô Manh Cuong pers. comm.). The portion of forest concerned, which is home to other interesting forest-dwellers such as Calopteryx coomani, Noguchiphaea yoshikoae..., is partly surrounded by "su su" fields (known in English as christophine or chayote). Those crops are gaining ground year after year (in conjunction with tourism development) and already adjoining the right bank of the stream. Situated downstream of the Tam Dao Hill Station, this site might also be subject to pollution discharge, especially at the peak tourist season. The stream banks littered with plastic wastes are a very sad and deplorable sight, especially in a so-called "National Park" *.
Tam Dao runs 80 km from north-west to south-east. This isolated granite ridge has more than 20 peaks with the elevation over 1,000m, several surpass 1,300m and the highest, Mount Tam Dao Bac, is 1,592m. This is one of the Vietnamese hotspots for odonatologists, but surveys are generally limited to the most accessible areas - i.e. around the Hill Station. Large parts of this mountain range remain unexplored and are likely to support other populations of Coeliccia mingxiensis - and even new species for science.
* Why "National Park" and not... National Park ? Because this area receive a low level of protection, unworthy of National Park values. Poaching happens everywhere... Bird and mammal richness decreased severely the last decades. This place suffers from the “empty forest syndrome” – i.e. a forest that looks intact, but where most wildlife has been eliminated.
Tam Dao : a wonderful place but a sad story,... except maybe for dragonflies lovers!