Last Updated on : Tuesday, 01 March, 2016 12:08:11 AM


Five species of this genus are recorded from Borneo.

Among the most impressive and colorful family of Gomphid species are the Macrogomphus which fly along slow silty streams in lowland forest. Compared with other large Anisoptera they are relatively slow in flight.

The males are encountered much more frequently than the females.

Males of Macrogomphus can easily be recognized, as they are the only medium-large gomphids in which the superior anal appendages are strongly forked. Both sexes are also distinguished by the presence of a tiny antenodal cross vein basal to the first main bracing antenodal, a feature they share with the smaller Leptogomphus.

As far as is known the larvae all have a short thick snorkel at the tip of the abdomen. This is a characteristic of deep burrowing species which live in fine silt. The snorkel protrudes just above the surface of the mud, allowing the animal to inhale clean water while it grubs deeply for worms and other burrowing prey. The forelegs are modified for digging.

Macrogomphus quadratus  is large and commonly  widespread  in Sabah. The males patrol up and down small shallow streams in dense alluvial forest.

They rest occasionally on emergent twigs where they can be photographed. The females lay their eggs alone, with few quick passes over the weedy mud banks in shallow water.

Photo left is a matured female

Macrogomphus parallelogramma  is found chiefly on the low coastal plains from Brunei to the west and south of the island. It may be common where it occurs, typically on slower flowing streams in lowland dipterocarp forest with a sandy rather than muddy substratum. Males patrol largish reaches of the streams along several hundred meters. They are only moderately rapid in flight and are fairly easily observed and captured when they emerge from shadow.  Females oviposit over shallow gravel beds or even in deep swift flowing runnels. Macrogomphus parallelogramma is quite variable in size, although larger specimens are commoner.

Two smaller, rarely collected Macrogomphus species are

Macrogomphus phalantus and

Macrogomphus decemlineatus.

M, phalantus (S hw, 35 mm) looks like a small Macrogomphus parallelogramma, differing from it only in small details of the markings and the form of the male anal appendages. It is found in swampy forest in low country in west Borneo.

The slightly larger Macrogomphus decemlineatus (S hw, 37 mm) is readily distinguished by the presence of five yellow bands (including the antehumerals) on either side of the synthorax giving it its Latin name which means 'ten-lined'. It is a rare species, found in sluggish forested streams in low country. The female is unknown.


Macrogomphus abnormis, known only from females taken in the 19th century and generally recorded in faunal lists as a Bornean endemic, is most probably a form of Macrogomphus quadratus.



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