Amateur Entomologists Can See a Newly Discovered Dragonfly Species in Vietnam

May 05, 2011
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Part of the allure of international nature travel is the ability to see new and interesting species of animals not commonly found back home. Yet while some travelers may have an eye for birds or be in love with larger mammals, others fancy themselves as amateur entomologists and prefer to study the intricacies of the endemic insect populations. Explorers who find beauty in bugs may want to book an excursion to the jungles of Vietnam, as scientists working in the Asian nation have recently discovered a new species of dragonfly.

Named Aethiamanta aethra, the new species was first spotted during a survey by the Wildlife at Risk organization (WAR) at U Minh Thuong National Park last month. Though further study is required, locals have named the insect Chuon Chuon Tram and have noted that the species may also be found in parts of Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

Relatively larger than the average dragonfly, travelers should be able to identify the new species based on its unique coloration. Younger males are light yellow but turn a more lustrous violet with age, while females retain a yellow sheen throughout their life cycle, developing black spots once they reach maturity.

Entomologists with WAR are hoping that the discovery will lead to further research of the dragonfly populations that can be found throughout the Vietnam's wetlands and national parks.

Note: Aethiamanta aethra is not pictured in the photo above.

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