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Friday, April 18, 2014

Cryptophaea vietnamensis (Tol & Rozendaal, 1995)

In 1995, Tol found this species in Vu Quang National Park, the centre of Vietnam and named it Babaydera vietnamica. In the description, Tol only described the male, without knowing of female. Some years later, Wilson and Reel  found both male and female in China and they did the description of female of the species. In his paper, the species was revised and changed to Schmidtiphaea genus. Hamalainen based on his study of holotype of Schmidtiphaea and specimen of vietnamica, he erected the new genus Cryptophaea from Schmidtiphaea and moved vietnamica into it. The genus was named after Christophe Columbus in looking back on his discovery of unknown continent, America.
They are medium-small size insects; and not like the male, the female of C. vietnamica is very colourful; she has orange marking on the body with remarkable big marking on her thorax. The male is very simple in colour, with dull dark blue-violet marking on the body. In teneral form, the male are black with cream green marking. They wings are hyaline with somehow petiolate at base.

They live at clear swift streams in pristine forests of limestone mountain. Females of the species usually perch about 1.5 to 2 metres above water while males fly in the nearby forests. In rain season, the female is more common than the male.

Male, photographed by Cuong Do, Tam Dao National Park

Young male, photographed by Cuong Do, Tam Dao National Park

Female with orange marking thorax, photographed by Cuong Do, Tam Dao National Park

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