Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dragonflies of Vanuatu


The  dragonflies appeared over long time ago and  they have developed into many different sub species. There are more than 5000 species of dragonflies existing in the world today. Now dragonflies have  been included   in the  Vanuatu’s ecosystem as  the  valuable predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, ants and wasps .


Vanuatu Post pleased to launch a set of four stamps and one unique souvenir sheet features the species of Dragonflies which found in Vanuatu on February 22, 2012. The stamp set designed by Sue Wickison from Wellington, New Zealand. The depicted species are Yellow striped Flutterer Rhyothemis Phyllis , Globe Skimmer Pantala flavescens , Fiery Skimmer Orthetrum villosovittatum,  and Painted Grasshawk Neurothemis stigmatizans.

Yellow striped Flutterer or Rhyothemis Phyllis - easily recognized, the yellow striped flutterer dragonfly flies with a fluttering motion at a slow speed, gliding most of the time. Its wings are much longer than its body.
The head and body are dark brown in colour. Its wings are clear but tinged with yellow, with black tips. Its habitat is mostly ponds, orchid bushes and gardens.

SbGlobe Skimmer  or Pantala flavescens -this dragonfly is up to 4.5 cm long with wingspans up to 8.5 cm in length. The predominant colour is yellowish to reddish. The wings are clear and very broad at the base.
The larvae of the Globe Skimmer, like all dragonflies, are predatory, foraging very actively and eating indiscriminately. The Globe Skimmer, as its name suggests, has a very wide distribution area, between about the 40th parallels or where the temperature is above 20°C.

Fiery Skimmer or  Orthetrum villosovittatum - this dragonfly is found extensively throughout Australia and neighbouring Pacific Islands. Males have golden-brown thoraxes and red abdomens. Females are ochre-coloured. The species inhabits boggy areas, streams and swamps.

Painted Grasshawk or  Neurothemis stigmatizans - with reddish wing markings this distinctive dragonfly is widespread throughout eastern Queensland and the south -west Pacific. Large numbers of adults often congregate together in grassy areas near still waters. These include mixed lowland rain forest and swamps. (Sources: Wikipedia, Vanuatu bulletin News)

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