Coeliccia sasamotoi Do, 2011

Coeliccia sasamotoi is a rather large-sized Coeliccia species, described based from specimens collected in 2004-2005 in central Vietnam (Ha Tinh Province) and central east Laos.

In 2011, I bumped into this species much further north, in the Hoa Binh Province, northern Vietnam (70 km east of Hanoi).

The male is a beautiful black and sky blue damselfly. The dorsum of synthorax bears 2 pairs of markings as follow: one pair of large patches, each one bicoloured (sky blue along the dorsal carina, whitish exteriorly), covering almost half the lower part of mesepisternum, and a much smaller upper pair.
Sides of synthorax with large bluish markings. The abdomen is largely black dorsally, including the last segments, contrasting with the light coloured anal appendages.

Caudal appendages white-yellowish, contrasting with the wholly black last segments.
  • Dorsal view
  • Lateral view : superior appendages thick and club shaped, widening apically, with ventral subapical tooth at 2/3 of their length.

  • Ventral view : inferior appendages of similar colour to superior appendages, with small black tooth at apex, of typical shape for the genus and slightly longer than the superiors.

A pair in tandem

Another pair seen on May 10, 2014, at Xuân Son National Park (Phu Tho Province)

The female is stouter than the male. The mesepisternum bears 2 pairs of yellow stripes, the upper one roughly half the size of the lower one.

Sides of synthorax and prothorax mostly yellow. Posterior pronotal lobe black with a broad raised process.
Abdomen black with yellow markings.

To my knowledge, Coeliccia sasamotoi is at least known from 4 low mountain (400-600 a.s.l.) localities: one in central east Laos (Bolikhamay Province), and 3 in central and northern Vietnam (in Ha Tinh, Hoa Binh and Phu Tho Provinces).

The site where I took almost all of those pictures (in Hoa Binh Province) is situated along a swift, rocky stream in secondary forest (ca 500 a.s.l.). I spotted males resting above small shaded pools in the beds, often in the company of C. acco, C. onoi.

Many thanks to Dô Manh Cuong for sending me his paper about the description of this new species, published in the International Journal of Odonatology.

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