Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Smallest Dragonfly Couple @ Lornie Trail

The PSI reading from the NEA website on 23 Oct was rather high at 8 am, 68 to be exact. Most people would have stayed at home but I still preferred to walk in the forest.

My first encounter along Lornie Trail (LT) was this rather huge robber fly, having a long tapering and banded abdomen. Robber Flies belong to the family Asilidae - they are carnivorous, bestowed with strong and long legs capable of grabbing their prey as shown in the picture.
Nannophya pygmaea is one of the smallest dragonflies in the world. We are fortunate to have this little and cute beauty in the central catchment areas - they are usually there to welcome me. The males have a very intense and prominent red abdomen.
There were at least half a dozen males there. It took me a while to capture this in-flight shot but I just could not freeze the wings.
Females are rarer and smaller and they look very different from the males with her abdomen being brownish with a few white bands. She was more cooperative and less active than the males.
Another larger red dragonfly which looks like a Rhodothemis rufa was resting on a grass blade near the reservoir edge. I very rarely encountered a male Archduke visiting flowers in the wild. This was an uncommon scene shown here but it didn't stay long enough for me to take a better shot - what a pity.A rather worn-out lycaenid - probably a Nacaduba species appeared for just a few seconds before it went up to the canopy.
This small orange skipper which looks like a Lesser Dart (Potanthus omaha omaha) was resting and feeding intermittently on a grass patch near the reservoir edge where the white Asystesia flowers were in bloom.
A strange behaviour was observed - it inserted its head into the flower's corolla tube. I don't understand why it didn't use its proboscis. It would have been fetal if there were a spider hiding in there.
This dark brown skipper looks like a male Quedara monteithi monteithi, a rather uncommon species displaying a tendency of facing towards the shady forested area whenever it perched. This behaviour gave me no chance of getting a good frontal shot.
Fortunately, I noticed that the haze didn't seem to produce any significant adverse effect on the fauna species in the forest - some butterflies still fluttering around though most of them were at the canopy level and dragonflies were seen darting from perch to perch. However, a prolonged hazy natural environment is going to be detrimental to all creatures - so let's hope everyone plays a part in keeping our air clean.

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