|Agrionoptera is a genus of dragonflies
in the family Libellulidae. The species are found across India, South-east
Asia and the Pacific. The genus contains the following species:
Agrionoptera bartola (Needham & Gyger, 1937)
Agrionoptera cardinalis (Lieftinck, 1962)
Agrionoptera insignis (Rambur, 1842) - Red Swampdragon
Agrionoptera longitudinalis (Selys, 1878)
Agrionoptera sanguinolenta (Lieftinck, 1962)
Agrionoptera sexlineata (Selys, 1879)
Agrionoptera insignis (Rambur, 1842),
is a species (split into numerous subspecies) has a wide range in tropical
Asia and Australasia.
It is a medium size dragonfly with
slender red abdomen, body length around 40 mm. The abdomen tip is black
in colour. The head and thorax is light bright green. Its wings are relatively
long. In males, the hindwing is 28-30 mm in length and the total body length
ranges from 37-41 mm. The eyes are yellow (brown on top). The thorax has
mottled yellow markings, irregular in outline, on a dark metallic green
background. As the dragonfly ages, the yellow marks on the thorax darken
and merge into the dark background. The abdomen is thin and largely red
above, swollen slightly at its base. The last two segments of the abdomen
is black. The abdomen of the female is similarly shaped but slightly thicker
and duller in colour.
This species is distinguished from
the rather similar Lathrecista asiatica by its smaller size, colour pattern
of thorax and shape of the abdomen.
A number of subspecies of Agrionoptera
insignis are recognised:
A. i. insignis occurs in mainland southeast Asia and throughout Sundaland;
A. i. allogenes (Tillyard, 1908) occurs in Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon
Islands and possibly New Caledonia;
A. i. chalcochiton (Ris, 1915) is known from Simalur and the Mentawai Islands;
A. i. insularis (Kirby, 1889) was described from the Solomon Islands;
A. i. lifuana (Kimmins, 1953) was described from New Caledonia;
A. i. nereis (Lieftinck, 1948) is known from Enggano;
A. i. nicobarica (Brauer, 1865) is known from the Nicobar Islands;
A. i. papuensis (Selys, 1879) is known from the New Guinea region.
Hämälänen and Müller
(1997) left the issue of the subspecific status of material from the Philippines
open. A. i. dorothea Fraser, 1927 from west Bengal in India is sometimes
considered as a distinct species, and sometimes as a subspecies or junior
synonym, it is left out of consideration for the purposes of this assessment.
Considerable confusion persists over the status of some of these subspecies
and of other closely related species of Agrionoptera; the whole complex
needs to be critically re-examined.
As currently understood the species
is very widely distributed, ranging from New Caledonia and Australia to
Thailand and Lao PDR, from Myanmar to the Philippines, including China,
Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia, China Taiwan
and Japan. This is a very widely distributed species and it is accessed
by IUCN Red List as Least Concern at present. There is a need for further
data from parts of the species range and on some of the subspecies, and
taxonomic issues need to be resolved.