Onychothemis culminicola (Förster, 1904)

Found in Asia: China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand


A male Onychothemis culminicola got entangled in a spider web and become prey to the spider.

Spiders do not swallow solid foods. They digest their food externally with their saliva containing enzymes that decompose the prey body. Once their food is soften, the liquid is sucked into the stomach.

Photo above : A female Onychothemis culminicola (Förster, 1904). Aging with broken wings. Found on 7 March 2007 in Sabah, Malaysia.

Male Onychothemis culminicola has a prominent dorsal yellow stripe running the length of the thorax.

This male size is :
Total Body length = 52mm
Wing span = 86mm
Front wing length = 40mm

The prominent dorsal yellow stripe of a male Onychothemis culminicola.
The eyes are crystal dark green with brown marks.

The throex is metallic dark blue with 2 bright yellow stripes.
The legs are bigger and longer with fewer spines as compared with other Libellulidae family species.

Dragonfly wing  

Abdomen of a male Onychothemis culminicola. I first saw this species in Bukit Gemok Forest Reserve on 24 August 2007. Only this lonely male flying up and down the mountain stream.

Onychothemis culminicola is one of the 39 taxonomically isolated Species from the Oriental Region (groups of species found nowhere else outside the Oriental Region)

Based on recommendations of the IUCN/SSC, Odonata Specialist Group (Moore. 1997), these 39 dragonflies are considered to be priority species for further study and conservation action.

Dragonflies of the genus Onychothemis are of medium size and robust built. Dragonflies of this genus are characterized by a unique feature found on their legs: their claws are without hooks. They are otherwise characterized by the dark metallic thoraces and brightly colored abdomens. (Silsby,2001)

Although they are bold, strong fliers, their flights are usually of short durations. They take frequent rests and strenuously attack all other large dragonflies that invade their territory. With a preference for slower water with a sandy bottom, they are usually present in medium sized clear forest streams. (Silsby,2001)

The dragonfly of the Onychothemis culminicola species from Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia has a bright red rust abdomen with restricted yellow markings. (Silsby,2001)

Close up view of secondary genitalia (the accessory organ) on the second abdominal of a male Onychothemis culminicola. Sperm is moved from the first genitalia into here just before copulation.

Not much is known why male dragonflies have two sets of reproduction organs.

Last two segments (segment 9 and 10) of a male Onychothemis culminicola.
On segment 9 is the first genitalia. This is the opening for sperm.

On segment 10 (the tip) are a pair of superior appendages and a single inferior appendage (total 3 appendages. A damselfly has total 4)

The above pictures show the anal appendages at the abdomen tips  

Not much is known why male dragonflies have two sets of reproduction organs (first genitalia at segment 9 and secondary  genitalia (the  accessory organ) on the second abdominal.

Damselflies have a pair of inferior appendages and a pair superior appendages, i.e.., totally four appendages.
Dragonflies have a pair of superior appendages and a single inferior one, totally three. Those specialized appendages are used to clasp the female for copulation.
In damselflies the male clasp the prothorax of the female.
In dragonflies the male clasp the female back of the head. Those appendages will only fit into the same species female. 

All insect males have their genital opening for sperm at the ninth abdominal segment.

Dragonflies/damselflies males have (beside the first genitalia) their secondary genitalia, which is the  accessory organ on the second abdominal.



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