Species: Lestes sp.
Common name(s): -
Habitat: Forest ponds
Province(s) sighted: Nam Nao National Park, Petchabun
Sightings (by me): Locally common
In flight (that I have seen): August
On a recent trip to Nam Nao with friend and birder Mark Hogarth, I decided to venture down a trail I had only visited once before back in January (he wanted to visit the trails around HQ). I was looking for Indolestes anomalus again, which I found in great numbers. Amongst a number of other uncommon or rare species, I noticed what I first thought was Lestes praemorus decipiens. Yet, very quickly I became suspicious. It seemed larger and was far more skittish. On closer inspection I could clearly see that the dorsal patch near the appendages was minimal. Unfortunately, I missed photographing it as it flew away. However, as the day warmed another appeared. Then another and another. At each pond I visited there was a healthy number of them - all with the same reduced dorsal patch. I managed to get decent photos of them but catching them was difficult. At the last pond I visited, there were many males there again and a number of copula - even harder to approach. When I returned home I did a little research and I am convinced that it isn't L. praemorsus (the most likely candidate). It could, in fact, possibly be L. dorothea, a species recorded from Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary in Chaiyaphum, not too far away. However, I must return at the weekend and see if I can catch a specimen for close up shots of the appendage and possibly collect a specimen or two.
It could be L. praemorsus decipiens, but I am not convinced.
The thoracic markings are fairly prominent (although hard to see as all specimens were heavily pruinosed)
The male appendages (the inferior appendages were extremely short)
L. praemorsus decipiens for comparison (the tips of the appendages are almost touching)
Lestes sp. from a different angle. Not the clearest shot, but shows just how short the inferior appendages are.
Here shows the thoracic markings of the female
Close up (and compared to female of L. praemorsus decipiens)
Anyone know for sure what species it is? Maybe it is a slight variation of L. praemorsus decipiens. Only time will tell (when I return).