Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Raphismia bispina (Hagen, 1867)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Odonata
Family:Libellulidae
Genus:Raphismia
Species:R. bispina
Common Names:Mangrove Dwarf
Status:Uncommon

Description

At a glance, Raphismia bispina looks a little like Brachydiplax chalybea but is smaller in size, of lighter build and has clear wings (without an amber tint at the wing base). In males, the hindwing is 21 to 23 mm long and the total body length ranges from 26 to 29 mm. The eyes are brown on top and yellow below. The thorax is slate blue with mottled yelow marking on the side. In old individuals, the ywllow marking is covered with blue pruinescence. Uniquely, beneath the thorax and behind the legs are two short spines. The abdomen is slate blue with the last four segments black. The female has a black body with mottled yellow mrking on the sides of thorax and conspicuous yellow streaks along the abdomen.

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

Distribution

Occurs in suitable coastal habitats throughout Sundaland, the Philippines and New Guinea, reaching the north-eastern tip of Australia.

Localities

Recorded in Changi, Mandai, Pulau Semakau, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Locality Map

General Biology

This species is one of the few dragonfly species that lives and breeds in saline water in mangrove swamps.

Males of Raphismia bispina usually perch motionless on an exposed branch for long periods, guarding their territories around a salty mangrove pool.

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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