Tuesday 9 February 2010

A tiny ornamental pond in the grounds of the ITC Maratha hotel gave me cause to hunt out my red crayon. While steeling myself for the frenetic traffic of Mumbai, I took a quick turn around the gardens and saw a beautiful, lemon yellow zygopterid flitting between the lily pads.
After consulting http://www.asia-dragonflies.net/ I have decided that it is a Ceriagrion coromandelianum.
On to Powai Lake within a 10 minute taxi-ride from the hotel. The water margins were choked with water hyacinth, but there seemed to be little in the way of odonata there. Instead, where the weeds had been pulled from the water and allowed to dry, Asian Amberwings, Brachythemis contaminata, were in position on prominent stalks. These were by far the most populous dragonfly of the day, seemingly abundant all around the lake.
A rough road ran alongside the lake leaving a stagnant ditch separating it from the main road. The ditch held damselflies with another C. coromandelianum and some of what I suspect to be a Pseudagrion sp possibly microcephalum (Pseudagrion microcephalum has been confirmed by Saurabh Sawant, the mastermind of Mumbai).
One was hovering over the water and I wondered if an in-flight shot might be possible. I was pleased with the way it came out. Two other damselflies have me stumped at the moment. My usual method is to consider females and young males or colour morphs of species already seen, but I can’t find a good match. They are currently labelled Mumbai ode 01 and Mumbai ode 02, but I feel they deserve better names than that (Saurabh Sawant again comes to the rescue with Ischnura senegalensis).
If anyone can make any suggestions for identification, or point me in a good direction to look, I would be very grateful. I am also still looking for a decent field guide to Indian odonata if anyone knows of one.

Odonata species; 4

Ceriagrion coromandelianum 4, Pseudagrion microcephalum 8, Ischnura senegalensis 2, Asian Amberwing Brachythemis contaminata 150

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Lovely picture. Here's what I think about the ID

    Ceriagrion coromandelianum
    Brachythemis contaminata
    Pseudagrion microcephalum
    Ischnura senegalensis (f)
    I'd need a better picture of the last one, preferably from the side. It could be male of the I. senegalensis.