LIBELLAGO rufescens – Chlorocyphidae


The male of Libellago rufescens – Chlorocyphidae

Tracing Karaja River in Parepare, South Sulawesi, is a tough job for me. River rocks extend crowded, very difficult to pass. The river only fast-flowing in the rainy season, while during the dry season only had a puddle here and there, that flows slowly and clear. In this river, on October 8 and 15, 2016, I first met with Libellago rufescensChlorocyphidae. A damselfly species are very attractive, small and adorable.


Male perched on the river rocks


Male perched on the bamboo dry twig

This damselfly measuring only about two centimeters, making it difficult to be seen among the rocks and flowing water foam. Although the color is striking, thorax black with yellow stripes, and bright red abdomen, but it remains difficult to see. They perched on rocks or twigs in the water. They fly slowly, and looks not too timid. They look cute!


Male orange thorax with black stripes, and bright red abdomen


Male with black wingtips

Indeed, only the males have a striking color, while the females are more modest color, black with yellow stripes. These females will usually be more difficult to be seen.


The female of Libellago rufescens

Habits that I noted from observations of this species, is that they don’t like the light. Also they don’t like shrubs or grass. Like to stay in one place for a long time, or playing in the water foams. To shoot them, not hard, but sometimes we have to lay on the stones, because of their small size. At one point, they can be found associated with Celebothemis, Trithemis, Paragomphus, and Pseudagrion. Also to be found along with Libellago asclepiades.


Female with green-yellowish body, black stripes


Female with white wingtips

Based on the references that I have, this species has spread quite widely, almost all the peninsula of Sulawesi, even in other regions. It’s a species that needs to be preserved as natural resources in Indonesia.

Photos by Geni Harefa Ais, 2016

IUCN Notes:

◼ Species name: Libellago rufescens (Selys, 1873)  Family: Chlorocyphidae (Zygoptera, ODONATA). ◼ Red List Category and Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1

◼ Justification: The species is likely to show a decline as the population of Sulawesi is increasing and pressure on landscape is increasing. The decline is probably limited as the species is capable of breeding in brooks in rural areas. The species occurs in several protected areas and is assessed as Least Concern with some reservations. ◼ Range Description: Endemic for Sulawesi. Occurs in southwest Sulawesi and the coastal region of the western part of central Sulawesi (van Tol pers. comm. 2007). ◼ Native: Indonesia (Sulawesi). ◼ Population: Detailed information on population numbers are lacking although they are thought to be decreasing. ◼ Trend: Decreasing. ◼ Habitat and Ecology: Lowland streams with water depth of c. 10 – 50 cm. The males defend territories in the full sun, from boulders emerging just above the water surface, and usually not far from the banks. The species is capable of dealing with limited habitat degradation and occurs in streams in rural areas (van Tol pers. comm. 2007). ◼ System: Freshwater. ◼ Major Threats: There are no threats known to be affecting this species at present.  ◼ Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures needed at present. ◼ Citation : Kalkman, V. 2009. Libellago rufescens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T163906A5666252.



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