Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Philippines
- A photographic guide to the Odonata of the Eastern Visayas - Stijn De Win -

Igneocnemis fuligifrons

The Philippine endemic genus Risiocnemis includes 38 described damselfly species, of which 20 are assigned to the subgenus Igneocnemis. All species of the genus are reophilic forest damselflies living in habitats with good vegetation cover.  Igneocnemis fuligifrons is found in the Eastern Visayas and Mindanao including Dinagat and Basilan. In the Eastern Visayas it shares forest habitats with 4 other Risiocnemis species on Panaon, Leyte and Biliran. It is not found on Samar and it was not known from Biliran before my record in November 2021. This was also the first time Igneocnemis fuligifrons was photographed alive in the field. Direct below is posted the first known image of a living individual photographed undisturbed in its natural habitat.

Igneocnemis fuligifronsIgneocnemis fuligifrons
Igneocnemis fuligifrons, adult male.
  Biliran island, Philippines, 29 November 2021
Igneocnemis fuligifrons, adult female.
Biliran island, Philippines, 29 November 2021

Adult males have a characteristic coloration which makes them unmistakable both in the Eastern Visayas and Mindanao. The combination of a black front of the head, orange-brown synthorax brightening in the central lower part, red legs and a brownish abdomen which is clearly darkened dorsally is not seen in any other Igneocnemis species. Also note a contrasting very dark brown to black pterostigma.
Quickly identifying females in the field takes some experience but is possible. In the Eastern Visayas females are most easily confused with Risiocnemis praeusta. For a direct compare see last 2 photos posted lower on this page.

Small streams and seepage in good forest from near sea-level up to at least 650m asl. Often found in the vicinity of vegetated near-vertical cliffs or rocks. Even though they depend on habitats with flowing water, wanderers may often be found inside the forest some good distance from any stream or seepage.

Perching low at 0,5 to 2 meter off the forest floor. Flight usually very short to the next perch. Once a good spot is found several individuals may be encountered in a small area. Observations confirmed November to June but probably flying year-round.

Philippines, my records from Biliran are a northward extension of the known range and it further occurs on Leyte and Panaon in the Eastern Visayas (not found on Samar). Also found on western and northern Mindanao, Dinagat and Basilan.

-IUCN Red list status; Near Threatened  -Note; In the Eastern Visayas it is scarce throughout with low numbers found in few locations.

Igneocnemis fuligifronsIgneocnemis fuligifrons
Igneocnemis fuligifrons, full color adult male.
  Almeria, Biliran island, March 2022
Igneocnemis fuligifrons, adult male
Cabucgayan, Biliran island, January 2022

Igneocnemis fuligifronsIgneocnemis fuligifrons
Igneocnemis fuligifrons, adult male
  Panaon island, June 2022
Igneocnemis fuligifrons, adult male
Maasin, southern Leyte, June 2022

Igneocnemis fuligifronsRisiocnemis praeusta
Igneocnemis fuligifrons, female, compare with R.praeusta on right
  Biliran island, November 2021
Risiocnemis praeusta, adult female for comparison
Jaro, Leyte, April 2022

All photos copyright Stijn De Win. Note my Dragonfly and Damselfly observations are also posted on iNaturalist.
Hope this page may help with the identification, education, appreciation, conservation and research efforts of the Philippine Odonata.
Contact ; stijndewin@birding2asia.com

Eastern Visayas Damselfly / Dragonfly checklist

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