Crimson Marsh Glider (dragonfly)-male protecting the ‘larva’

As I was walking along the narrow stream inside the Kek Look Tong Park looking for the family of the Blue Whistling Thrush, the bright pink color of the dragonfly caught my eyes. There is only one dragonfly species with pink color in Malaysia. Also few species of dragonfly were along the stream looking for food. There I saw 3 males and 1 female Crimson Marsh Glider.

One male kept going back to the tiny stump and after careful checking through scope I saw a different color of insect on it. First I thought the male is eating the insect bit by bit. But no, it looks like the male is holding the insect’s head [see pix 8081] and started twisting from one side to another side round the small tiny stump. Is like turning round the bottle cap. The male eye is very red and bright. The female [pix N3885] color is very different from male.

I need help from you to comment whether is this an old skin already emerged out or a larva. I have no clue at all about their breeding circle.

Another pair of dragon [see pix 3586, don’t have the id yet]   were seen harassing near by the stump. Another 2 males or female gave chased. Sometimes this male that is often seen on the stump will also chased their enemy away. The other 2 males size is smaller than the one perched on the stump.

Update 3/3:

That day when I sent out my first email (dated 2/3/12), Mr. Horsfall replied back. Please read his comments below –

Dear Connie,

I know more about animal behaviour than dragons so my guess would be that the “skin” is a female nymph of that same species, with the adult not yet emerged, around which the male is loitering in the hope of securing a virgin female. But I’ll certainly give way to any odontologists out there!

Anyway – what a gorgeous creature – must be one of the world’s most spectacular dragons.


John Horsfall


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