Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Urothemis
Species: Urothemis signata

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


Egg mass of a female dragonfly Urothemis signata
Egg mass of a female dragonfly Urothemis signata






Urothemis signata insignata.  Easily distinguished from other medium-sized red dragonflies by very open venation, pointed wings and brown patch at hw base; veins largely red and distal antenodal complete (see Crocothemis/Rhodothemis)

Female is brown with basal hw patch paler. Lakes, ponds and slow streams in open country and swamp forest margins; fairly common in lowlands.

Male rest in bright sunlight, commonly adopting the 'obelisk' position with abdomen held upright. Widespread in Indo-Australian tropics.

Urothemis signata insignata is a medium-sized red species (hw, 35-37 mm). Unlike other species of similar size and color, the reticulation is very open and the major veins are bright red. It can also be distinguished by the small, solid reddish-brown patch at the base of the wings instead of a hyaline yellow area. It is most commonly found on the sunny borders of drains and lakes in the lowlands but ranges up to 600 m. Males fly little and frequently rest for long periods in the sunlight in the 'obelisk' position, in which the wings are depressed or canted away from the sunlight and the abdomen is held vertically, a behavior believed to prevent overheating.

A male Urothemis signata insignata found at a weedy pond in a Sabah forest reserve. About 10 other LIBELLULIDAE species also came to breed on the pond that same hot day.

A male Urothemis signata insignata has broad and thin abdomen. The widest segment is 5mm width.

This male measured :
Abdomen length = 28mm
Whole body length = 42mm
Hind wing span = 72mm

This sub-species of Urothemis signata has dark red eyes and metallic black frons.

The 2 black dots on segment 8 and 9 are the trade mark of this species in Sabah.

Urothemis signata insignata is easily separated from other same sized red dragonflies by very open venation, pointed wings and red-brown patch at hind wing base.



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