Monday, January 21, 2013

A Dainty Damselfly on Allamanda

Damselflies are similiar to dragonflies but are daintier. I used to think that they are the females. Compared to the dragonflies, their eyes are separate and thus appear more distinct.

I love the way this damsel held on to the edge of the leaf with the first and second pair of legs while the hind pair were thrusted against the leaf surface for anchorage.
“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart” - Thich Nhat Hanh

It then flew to another leaf for a different view of my garden.

When at rest the wings are held parallel to the abdomen. Besides the anorexic look, this is an easy way to distinguish them from dragonflies. The long slim abdomen must be the envy of many women.

Later it flew off to settle on a leaf of Allamanda violiacea.  Its jet-black body has a bluish sheen with stripes of white and dashes of purple on the head and thorax. And it has long, thick eyelashes to die for! The yellow background are the young leaves of Pseuderanthemum reticulatum.

 Pseuderanthemum reticulatum.

Allamanda violiacea or A. blanchetii

A variation with dual tones of cream and red 'sunset'.

 The leaves are hairy being covered with fine silvery-white hairs.

This variety of Allamanda has broader leaves compared to the dwarf variety. The blooms are bigger and the petals are thicker. Its colour is also deeper. The pink-white dainty flowers of Pseuderanthemum reticulatum are so teeny weeny compared to them.

The dwarf variety called Allamanda cathartica has small leaves which has a tendency to yellow and drop off prematurely, often leaving long bare canes on the lower parts.

Yellow flowers of Allamanda cathartica are towered above by the purple flowers of Allamanda violiacea. Note that the leaves are different.

A glass globe of yellow Allamandas (dwarf variety) and a smaller globe of pink Madagascar Periwinkles provided some much needed colour to my kitchen island top of 'black galaxy' granite.


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