Friday, 29 July 2011

Morning Rendezvous

Spent a few hours this morning being mesmerized by dragonflies and damselflies at a pond.  The whole scenery was alive with the buzzing of various dragonflies and damselflies such that I was totally enraptured!

As I watched, my heart went out to this Platylestes heterostylus as a Pseudagrion australasiae kept attacking it as it perched on a stem, chasing it away.  It took a while, and several perches later, before it found peace of mind and eventually began its morning stretching routine by flexing and swinging its abdomen in an aerobic workout.

This Pseudagrion australasiae is really quite a bully...

One of the Lestes praemorsus at the pond.  There were quite a number of them, all perched quite inconspicuously, minding their own business, each in its own world of daydreams.

I wonder what happened to that wing of this Neurothemis fulvia?  Looks as if it's been scorched.  Doesn't it make you wonder?

The Aethriamanta gracilis was rather flighty but finally managed to take a few photos.  Spotted several of them this morning.

Also spotted about five of these tiny yellow damselflies of the species Ceriagrion calamineum.

A contrast to the yellow damselfly above is this dashing red dragonfly, the Urothemis signata.

A number of these hovered near my feet.  These really tiny Agriocnemis femina could easily dart away and disappear from sight in a fraction of a second.

These damselflies sharing a twig.

And another favourite hangout on a twig with more than just one damselfly.

And then, there was also this bee that had me distracted for a bit.....

What a great morning indeed!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Flower..... An Orchid!

Came across this little blooming flower and buds along a trail recently...
I wonder what species could it be?

Updated 14 Aug 2011:  This species is the Geodorum citrinum of the family Orchidaceae, a beautiful ground orchid commonly found in the north of the Peninsula, Thailand and Burma.

Should be the correct id.  If I am mistaken, please kindly notify me.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Captivated By A Snail!

Yes, there were dragonflies everywhere too but this snail certainly had me in a spell for quite a while!

A very handsome snail indeed..... if I may say so.

Even as I stood over it and watched, it went creeping and crawling along on its muscular foot, minding its own business.  I suppose it could sense there is no danger in my presence and so it did not withdraw into its shell, thus giving me lots of opportunities to observe it.

And then I looked at its eyes at the tips of those long tentacles and started wondering...
What kind of vision would a snail have? 
How does it perceive the world around it?
Won't you be curious too?

Those eyes seem to be independent of each other and at times, the tentacles would be pointing in opposite directions.

Snails are rather fascinating creatures, wouldn't you agree?

Another one of nature's beautiful creations.

Monday, 11 July 2011

A Gem Of An Emerald

It is hard to believe a month have passed since my last entry.  Although it is all rather relative, the days do always seem to go by much faster when you are having a great time!

In the last week, I have had the privilege of meeting with Robin and Wei Ling, who are both with the the National Parks Board in Singapore, and on their holiday in Langkawi.  And as you would expect, we went on an outing to look for dragonflies.  It was certainly enjoyable to have company on my "hunts", especially with friends who are keen odonata enthusiasts themselves.  To be more accurate, they are quite the specialists in the field.

And thanks to them, there are now more new species to add to the checklist for Langkawi.

Here's Robin and Wei Ling taking photos of a dragonfly, the Zygonix iris, before it was released again.

Later, as we were strolling along the path to head out for lunch, out came this dragonfly as we neared a stream. 

This is one of the dragonflies I had spotted a few times previously but do not have any means to identify the species as I could only watch as it appeared out of nowhere, do a few short, quick patrols over the stream and then flew off again towards the forest as swiftly as it had appeared.

This time, we were in luck.  Robin managed to net it.

Out came his kit with the loupe, ruler, and Pocket Guide.  And, of course, all of us had our cameras at the ready.  A few photos were taken, measurements made and we had a good close look of it to ensure correct species identification.

This is a male of the Macromidia genialis of the family Corduliidae, with hindwing length of 29 mm.  In the Pocket Guide, it says that this species is furtive and possiby rare.  The Corduliidae, or the Emeralds, is a family of dragonflies having striking iridescent green eyes, as captured in the photo below.  Most species in this group are generally difficult to find and some are quite rare.

I am glad I did have these few shots of the dragonfly.  I wouldn't know if it was because I was getting hungry or simply because I was just too excited about having an emerald in our hands, or possibly a bit of both, but I did not get too many great photos as my hands had been a bit shaky holding the camera.  Nevertheless, lunch can wait when a rare dragonfly is the reason for it.

In any case, this is a first for a Corduliidae dragonfly for my checklist for Langkawi.

We've certainly caught a gem in our hands!

Odonata Checklist - Langkawi




Family Calopterygidae

Echo modesta (Laidlaw, 1902)
Neurobasis chinensis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Vestalis gracilis (Rambur, 1842)

Family Chlorocyphidae

Heliocypha biforata (Selys, 1859)
Libellago lineata (Burmeister, 1839)

Family Lestidae

Lestes praemorsus decipiens (Kirby, 1893)
Platylestes heterostylus (Lieftinck, 1932)

Family Coenagrionidae

Aciagrion borneense (Ris, 1911)
Aciagrion hisopa (Selys, 1876)
Agriocnemis femina (Brauer, 1868)
Argiocnemis rubescens rubeola (Selys, 1877)
Ceriagrion auranticum  (Fraser, 1922)
Ceriagrion cerinorubellum (Brauer, 1865)
Ischnura senegalensis (Rambur, 1842)
Pseudagrion australasiae (Selys, 1876)
Pseudagrion microcephalum (Rambur, 1842)

Family Platycnemididae

Copera ciliata (Selys, 1863)
Copera marginipes (Rambur, 1842)
Copera vittata (Selys, 1863)

Family Protoneuridae

Prodasineura humeralis (Selys, 1860)
Prodasineura laidlawii (Forster, 1907)



Family Gomphidae

Gomphidia maclachlani (Selys, 1873)
Ictinogomphus decoratus melaenops (Selys, 1858)
Paragomphus capricornis (Forster, 1914)

Family Aeshnidae

Anax guttatus (Burmeister, 1839)

Family Corduliidae

Macromidia genialis (Laidlaw, 1923)

Family Libellulidae

Acisoma parnorpoides (Rambur, 1842)
Aethriamanta brevipennis (Rambur, 1842)
Aethriamanta gracilis (Brauer, 1878)
Brachydiplax chalybea (Brauer, 1868)
Brachydiplax farinosa (Kruger, 1902)
Brachythemis contaminata (Fabricius, 1793)
Cratilla lineata (Brauer, 1878)
Cratilla metallica (Brauer, 1878)
Crocothemis servilia (Drury, 1770)
Diplacodes nebulosa (Fabricius, 1793)
Diplacodes trivialis (Rambur, 1842)
Hydrobasileus croceus (Brauer, 1867)
Indothemis limbata (Selys, 1891)
Neurothemis fluctuans (Fabricius, 1793)
Neurothemis fulvia (Drury, 1773)
Onychothemis testacea (Laidlaw, 1902)
Orthethrum chrysis (Selys, 1891)

Orthethrum glaucum (Brauer, 1865)
Orthethrum sabina (Drury, 1770)
Orthethrum testaceum (Burmeister, 1839)
Pantala flavescens (Fabricius, 1798)
Potamarcha congener (Rambur, 1842)
Rhodothemis rufa (Rambur, 1842)
Rhyothemis obsolescens (Kirby, 1889)
Rhyothemis phyllis (Sulzer, 1776)
Rhyothemis triangularis (Kirby, 1889)

Tholymis tillarga (Fabricius, 1798)
Tramea transmarina euryale (Selys, 1878)
Trithemis aurora (Burmeister, 1839)
Trithemis festiva (Rambur, 1842)
Trithemis pallidinervis (Kirby, 1889)
Tyriobapta torrida (Kirby, 1889)
Urothemis signata insignata (Selys, 1872)
Zygonyx iris malayana (Rambur, 1842)