Helicopter damselfly

Microstigma rotundatum

''Microstigma rotundatum'', the helicopter damselfly, is a species of damselflies belonging to the family Pseudostigmatidae.
Helicopter damselfly - side view, La Isla Escondida, Colombia I couldn't believe my eyes when our guide Manuel pointed out this damselfly whilst it was in flight. All I know about damselflies is that they are thin and short, usually around 5cm in length. I was completely shocked to see one at least 3 times lengthier. And the flight is amazing, its nickname "Helicopter" is not overstated, it truly hovers in the air. They are so large that we could see it glitter through the air about 20m away. 

The rest had already proceeded on the path as this beauty just wouldn't perch. I kept chasing it and went off path quite a bit when it finally settled down for a good 20 seconds. Unfortunately, exactly at this time my flash battery died, and I screwed up both shots. After that I never found it again. I'm still happy that I at least have some record of it, as I consider it one of the most memorable insect we've ever seen.

There's 3 species in this genus of oversized "helicopter" damselflies. They're described as picking both spiders and prey caught in cogwebs whilst in flight, so very opportunistic thieves. Here's a low quality video of one of the other species in flight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLwSKCTl9HM
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/72854/helicopter_damselfly_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Helicopter damselfly,La Isla Escondida,Microstigma rotundatum,Putumayo,South America,World

Appearance

''Microstigma rotundatum'' is the most common species within the family. These damselflies have a long, thin body and large wings with a dense venation. The apex of the forewings has large yellow flecks and the pseudostigma shows many cells.
Helicopter damselfly, La Isla Escondida, Colombia I couldn't believe my eyes when our guide Manuel pointed out this damselfly whilst it was in flight. All I know about damselflies is that they are thin and short, usually around 5cm in length. I was completely shocked to see one at least 3 times lengthier. And the flight is amazing, its nickname "Helicopter" is not overstated, it truly hovers in the air. They are so large that we could see it glitter through the air about 20m away. 

The rest had already proceeded on the path as this beauty just wouldn't perch. I kept chasing it and went off path quite a bit when it finally settled down for a good 20 seconds. Unfortunately, exactly at this time my flash battery died, and I screwed up both shots. After that I never found it again. I'm still happy that I at least have some record of it, as I consider it one of the most memorable insect we've ever seen.

There's 3 species in this genus of oversized "helicopter" damselflies. They're described as picking both spiders and prey caught in cogwebs whilst in flight, so very opportunistic thieves. Here's a low quality video of one of the other species in flight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLwSKCTl9HM
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/72855/helicopter_damselfly_-_side_view_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Helicopter damselfly,La Isla Escondida,Microstigma rotundatum,Putumayo,South America,World

Distribution

This species is present in South America . It lives in tropical primary lowland forests.

Behavior

These damselflies mainly prey on web-building spiders. Larvae develop in water-filled crevices of fallen trees and in phytotelmata, the bodies of water held by some plants .

Habitat

This species is present in South America . It lives in tropical primary lowland forests.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderOdonata
FamilyPseudostigmatidae
GenusMicrostigma
SpeciesM. rotundatum
Photographed in
Colombia