Pacificagrion dolorosa Fraser

Sorrowful Damselfly (Pacificagrion dolorosa)

The Sorrowful Damselfly was described in the year 1953 on the basis of a male, that had been collected on the island of ‘Upolu, Samoa.

The species is almost unknown.

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The Sorrowful Damselfly was not found during recent field studies, however, the exatct locality appears to be only insufficiently known. [2]

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There obviously is at least one other, not yet described species on the island of Tutuila. [1][2]

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References:

[1] Milen Marinov; Warren Chin; Eric Edwards; Brian Patrick; Hamish Patrick: A revised and updated Odonata checklist of Samoa (Insecta: Odonata). Faunistic Studies in South-East Asian and Pacific Island Odonata 5: 1-21. 2013
[2] Milen Marinov; Mark Schmaedick; Dan Polhemus; Rebecca L. Stirnemann; Fialelei Enoka; Pulemagafa Siaifoi Fa’aumu; Moeumu Uili: Faunistic and taxonomic investigations on the Odonata fauna of the Samoan archipelago with particular focus on taxonomic ambiguities in the “Ischnurine complex”. Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund 91: 1-56. 2015

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Photo: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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edited: 23.08.2017

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Xanthagrion erythroneurum Sélys

Red and Blue Damsel (Xanthagrion erythroneurum)

The Red and Blue Damsel is (as far as known) the only species in its genus.

It is distributed mainly in Australia including Tasmania, but occurs also on New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands as well as on Fiji, where it seems to be quite rare, however. The species is said to occur in New Zealand as well, but I could not find any source yet to confirm this.

The Red and Blue Damsel is about 3 cm long, the sexes in this species are more or less identical in their colouration.

The ovoposition obviously takes place in standing water (?).

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Photo: Sandra Wallace; by courtesy of Sandra Wallace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20973373@N08

Antipodochlora braueri Selys

Dusk Dragonfly (Antipodochlora braueri)

The Dusk Dragonfly was described in the year 1871, it is the sole member of its genus.

The species is endemic to New Zealand, both the larvae as well as the adult individuals are specialized forest dwellers, being widely distributed in various types of native forest.

The peak activity occurs in the few hours before dusk (hence its trivial name), at higher elevations, however, the species is active over a longer period of the day. [1]

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References:

[1] W. J. Winstanley: A preliminary account of the habitat of Antipodochlora braueri (Odonata: Corduliidae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 7(2): 141-148. 1980

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Photo: Dr. Milen Marinov; by courtesy of Dr. Milen Marinov

Austrolestes colensonis White

New Zealand Blue Damselfly (Austrolestes colensonis)

The New Zealand Blue Damselfly, known by the Maori as kekewai, is a common species of small ditches, ponds, and swamps, its larvae are able to inhabit even shallow and temporary water bodies.

The species is capable of changing its coloration to aid thermoregulation, so it turns darker in cold weather and lighter in sunshine. [1]

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References:

[1] W. Joy Crumpton: Notes on occurrence of Odonata in Canterbury and Westland (New Zealand). The New Zealand Entomologist 6(3): 302-304. 1977

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Photo: Dr. Milen Marinov; by courtesy of Dr. Milen Marinov

Ischnura haemastigma Fraser

Bloodstain Forktail (Ischnura haemastigma)

This species was described in the year 1927 on the basis of a single male specimen, which was collected in the center of the island of ‘Upolu, at an elevation of about 610 m.

The head is mainly bright lemon yellow colored. The thorax is also lemon yellow colored and marked with black, the abdomen is dirty black in color, the last three segments are marked with blue. The legs are bright blood red in color.

The Bloodstain Forktail reaches a wingspan of about 3 cm, the wings are transparent, the pterostigma (wing mark) of the forewings is nearly square-shaped and crimson in color.

The first female specimen of this species were described in the year 1953. [1][2]

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The status of the Bloodstain Forktail, like those of almost all endemic Samoan Dragonflies, is completely unknown, it was not recorded during recent field surveys and may in fact be extinct. [3]

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References:

[1] F. C. Fraser: Further notes on Samoan Odonata belonging to the ischnurine complex of species, with descriptions of two new species and some unknown females. Proceedings Royal Entomological Society London. Series B 22(7/8): 119-126. 1953
[2] M. Marinov; W. Chin; E. Edwards; B. Patrick; H. Patrick: A revised and updated Odonata checklist of Samoa (Insecta: Odonata). Faunistic Studies in South-East Asian and Pacific Island Odonata 5: 1-21. 2013
[3] Milen Marinov; Mark Schmaedick; Dan Polhemus; Rebecca L. Stirnemann; Fialelei Enoka; Pulemagafa Siaifoi Fa’aumu; Moeumu Uili: Faunistic and taxonomic investigations on the Odonata fauna of the Samoan archipelago with particular focus on taxonomic ambiguities in the “Ischnurine complex”. Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund 91: 1-56. 2015

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Photo: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

(under creative commons license (4.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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edited: 28.06.2017

Lathrecista asiatica (Fabricius)

Scarlet Grenadier (Lathrecista asiatica)

The Scarlet Grenadier, also known as Asiatic Blood Tail, is easily recognizable by its bright red abdomen.

The species is very widespread, occurring from Asia and Australia to western Polynesia, where it is known from Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga.

It breeds in ponds, marshes, swamp forests and shallow forest pools.

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The Scarlet Grenadier is the sole member of its monotypic genus. The species is split into several subspecies, of which the nominate race is known to occur within the Polynesian region. The Samoan specimens, however, appear to be somewhat smaller than the nominate race, thus may represent a distinct subspecies. [1]

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References:

[1] Milen Marinov; Mark Schmaedick; Dan Polhemus; Rebecca L. Stirnemann; Fialelei Enoka; Pulemagafa Siaifoi Fa’aumu; Moeumu Uili: Faunistic and taxonomic investigations on the Odonata fauna of the Samoan archipelago with particular focus on taxonomic ambiguities in the “Ischnurine complex”. Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund 91: 1-56. 2015

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Photo: André van Velsen; by courtesy of André van Velsen

Megalagrion blackburni McLachlan

Blackburn’s Hawaiian Damselfly (Megalagrion blackburni)

This species reaches a body length of slightly more than 6 cm and is thus the largest member of its family on the Hawaiian Islands.

The larvae of this species develop, like most other dragonfly species, in freshwater, the larvae of other members of this genus, which contains at least 30 species, however, sometimes live terrestrial (on ground) or arboreal (in trees). [1]

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The adults of several species in this genus show the quite unusual behavior of feigning death when caught (see photograph). [2]

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References:

[1] Elwood C. Zimmerman: Insects of Hawaii 2; Apterygota to Thysanoptera. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1948
[2] Francis G. Howarth; William P. Mull: Hawaiian Insects and Their Kin. University of Hawaii Press 1992

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Photo: Kim Starr & Forest Starr; by courtesy of Kim Starr & Forest Starr

http://www.starrenvironmental.com

Ischnura cardinalis Kimmins

Cardinal Forktail (Ischnura cardinalis)

The Cardinal Forktail is known to occur on the islands of Bora Bora, Ra’iatea and Tahiti in the Society archipelago.

The thorax is light yellowish green in color, the abdomen is dark yellow, the last terminal segments of the abdomen are light blue colored above. The legs are dark yellow in color. The wings bear dark red spots on their tips.

The larvae reside in fast-flowing, clear forest creeks.

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Photo: Anne Duplouy
http://www.mooreabiocode.org

(under creative commons license (3.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Nesobasis angulicollis Tillyard

Angular-necked Fiji Damselfly (Nesobasis angulicollis)

This species was described in the year 1924.

The Angular-necked Fiji Damselfly species is obviously endemic to the island of Viti Levu, where it can be found at sunny places around medium-sized streams in the highlands, but also at lower elevations.

The sides of the thorax are almost entirely blue colored, males and females are similar in coloration, the females, however, are somewhat paler.

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The name Nesobasis subhumeralis Tillyard is a synonym of this species.

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The genus Nesobasis is endemic to the Fijian Islands, there are at least 11 additional species on the Fijian Islands, that still await their description, among them 10 on the island of Vanua Levu alone.

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References:

[1] T. W. Donnelly: The Fijian genus Nesobasis. Part 1: species of Viti Levu, Ovalau, and Kadavu (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 17: 87-117. 1990
[2] H. Van Gossum; C. Beatty; T. Sherratt: The Zygoptera of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, the two larger islands in the Fiji archipelago. IDF-Report 9: 1-14. 2006
[3] Neal L. Evenhuis; Dan A. Polhemus: Checklist of Odonata of Fiji. Bishop Museum Technical Report 38(15): 1-3. 2007
[4] C. D. Beatty; H. Van Gossum; T. N. Sherratt: Nesobasis species diversity and abundance: Notes on an endemic genus of the island group of Fiji (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae). Odonatologica 36(1): 13-26. 2007

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Photo: Hans Van Gossum; by courtesy of Hans Van Gossum

Hypothemis hageni Karsch

Hagen’s Skimmer (Hypothemis hageni)

This species was described in 1889, it is endemic to the Fijian Islands, where it is known only from Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.

The females lay their eggs near boulders into floating water with a strong current.

The species appears to be very shy, it perches only for few seconds, and then flies off again.

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The genus Hypothemis is monotypic, that means it contains only a single species.

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hypothemis-hageni-dmm

Photo: Dr. Milen Marinov; by courtesy of Dr. Milen Marinov

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edited: 27.02.2017