Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Mortonagrion arthuri Fraser, 1942

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Odonata
Family:Coenagrionidae
Genus:Mortonagrion
Species:M. arthuri
Common Names:Arthur's Midget
Status:Rare

Description

In males, the hindwing is 14 to 15 mm in length and the total body length ranges from 28 to 31 mm. The male has two colour forms. The blue form has blue stripes on the thorax and blue postocular spots. The yellow form has yellow stripes on the thorax and yellow postocular spots. The postocular spots are strangely shaped. The abdomen is a mosaic of black and brown areas and small pale dots, with a distinct blue mark on segment eight; the apical three segments and appendages are black. The superior appendages are shorter than the inferiors. The female has brown thorax with similar stripes to the male; abdomen with quite similar coloration to the male, but without the distinct blue marking on segment eight.

Read more about the Odonata order.
Read more about the Coenagrionidae family.

Distribution

Elsewhere known only from a few coastal places in the Mergui Islands (Lower Myanmar), Similan Island (southern Thailand), Peninsular Malaysia and Tioman Island.

Localities

Possibly confined to mangrove habitats. Found in Loyang Mangrove, Pulau Semakau, Sungei Cina, Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin

Locality Map

General Biology

These damselflies like to rest on the trip of an emergent twig or on a pneumatophores (the pencil-like roots of mangrove trees). The females are more commonly seen than the males.

Records

The first specimen (the male holotype of the species) was collected by Arthur Wheeler, aged only four years (!), in a garden in Butterworth in November 1935. Rather touchingly, Fraser, who described it, gave young Arthur’s name to the species.

The first record in Singapore was a female specimen collected from Loyang mangrove on 15 June 1987, but it was initially wrongly identified as Mortonagrion falcatum. In 2007 and 2009 this species was found on Pulau Semakau, Sungei Cina, Pulau Tekong and in good numbers on Pulau Ubin.

References

Tang, H. B., L. K. Wang & M. Hämäläinen, 2010. A Photographic Guide to the Dragonflies of Singapore. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 222 pp.

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