Back To Field Work At Huu Liên

My first 'proper' trip of the season: Huu Liên Nature Reserve (110 km north from Hanoi). Very late 1st trip I must confess... Upon my return to this dragonfly haven for the first time in 4,5 months, I expected to find new records to add to my personal list – and I was not disappointed.

The first place I visited was a small pond. As I made my way gingerly across its marshy margins, I came across a small Gomphid perched on scrubs. I managed to get a few record shots before it shot off rapidly... I searched half an hour, circling the pond several times, and finally find another but perched too high for me to net. It was a Trigomphus sp., one of the 'new' (new for Vietnam, at least) Gomphids recently found and identified by Tom.

After this very good beginning, I tried my luck at a nearby slow moving stream, a quite open one but with some scrubby sections. I flushed there a large, pale grey flatwing damselfly, with striking reddish pink last abdominal segments. I instantly recognized Philosina buchi, a  Megapodagrionid damselfly new for Vietnam, just discovered 2 days before! I immediately identified it because I checked some photos on the web before the trip, thanks to Tom’s SMS informing me about his discovery. According to the IUCN red list information, it is known from south-western and southern China including Fujian and Guangdong, Guangxi and Sichuan. A new species for me, and a gorgeous one! I was so happy.

Later I spotted through the binoculars some perched - but skittish - Nihonogomphus sp. and a solitary male Gomphidia abbotti basking in glorious sunshine. Though difficult to get anywhere near, I eventually got some okish-shots of the latter.

The Chlorocyphids Rhinocypha perforata, R. biforata, Libellago lineata were all on wing but in small numbers compare to last November. Few Calopterygids, with the exception of some Vestalis gracilis and the successful Neurobasis chinensis. Bumped also into some males Orolestes selysi, always a nice sight.

The rest of the day I saw plenty of odonates flitting around, but most of them common. The most interesting were Ceriagrion nipponicum (Huu Liên is its only known locality in Vietnam), an Asiagomphus sp. never recorded in Vietnam and possibly new to science (1 male collected) and a copula of the enigma Pseudagrion sp. nov. (or maybe Paracercion, let's wait and see for the results of the DNA test) discovered last year by Tom. 

Here's are some of my best photos of the day :

immature male Trigomphus sp. (thoracic/abdominal markings yellow when fully mature)

male Philosina buchi

What a privilege to spot a beautiful creature like this!

Gomphidia abbotti – stunning beast!

 male Vestalis gracilis

 male Ceriagrion nipponicum

                    Copula of the 'Pseudagrion' sp. nov. found in Huu Lien last year. 
                                        So far only recorded from a single reservoir.

Close-up on the female. Note the same distinctive marking along the interpleural suture 
as in the male and the double light line along the humeral suture.

 copula of Copera ciliata

a smart male Copera ciliata

 male Libellago lineata
This species has a long flight season; at Huu Liên from early spring till December.

male Rhinocypha biforata

male Orolestes selysi patch-winged form – a personal favorite.

male Zygonyx iris

copula of Orthetrum pruinosum. Always hard to get near.

 female Urothemis signata

Asiagomphus sp. 
 New for the country, probably yet to be described. For the discussion concerning its identity, visit Tom’s blog.

2 commentaires:

  1. Great shots Sebastien! I did not take field photos of Trigomphus and only bad ones of Philosina buchi, great work! Interesting is that one of the Asiagomphus has hardly any visible antehumeral spot.

  2. Thanks Tom,

    Yes the antehumeral spots of this specimen in hand (the one I collected) are tiny but the rest of the features (thoraciq/abdominal/head markings, appendages) fit perfectly with the Asiagomphus called “species 1” in your blog.
    Keep up the great work!