Study updates records of Kerala's rich odonate fauna

Euphaea fraseri (Laidlaw,1920) / Kalesh Sadasivan

The current odonate fauna of Kerala, their status and distribution are reviewed in a 54 page peer-reviewed paper published in the latest edition of Entomon, an journal of international repute Association for Advancement of Entomology.

Based on personal records from field work since 2010 and published literature, all the recent additions and range extensions to the region are critically analysed and a revised checklist of odonates of Western Ghats and Kerala is provided. The current checklist of odonates of the Western Ghats stands at 207 species, including 80 endemics.

Asiagomphus nilgiricus Laidlaw, 1922 / Kalesh Sadasivan

A total of 181 species of Odonates, including 68 Western Ghats endemics, belonging to 87 genera under two suborders and 14 families were recorded from the geographical boundary of Kerala. The suborder Zygoptera comprises 74 species of damselflies (30 genera in seven families) and the suborder Anisoptera has 107 species (57 genera in seven families). Endemic species and those in IUCN Red List categories are enlisted. None of the odonate species from the region are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972. A detailed discussion on odonates occurring in Kerala has been provided in the systematic part.

Kerala has a rich and diverse Odonata fauna with a total of 169 species as compiled from published records. To the 169 species compiled from the above publications, the authors have added the following eight species based on their personal records and publications. Amphiallagma parvum (Selys, 1876) in 2017, Ceriagrion chromothorax Joshi and Sawant, 2019 and Platylestes platystylus Rambur, 1842 in 2018 by Vinayan P Nair from Varadoor, Kannur district; Pseudagrion australasiae Selys, 1876 in 2019 by Abraham Samuel from Thumboormuzhi, Thrissur district; Crocothemis erythraea (Brullé, 1832) in 2019 from Munnar, Protosticta rufostigma Kimmins 1958 from Shendurney, Kollam and Protosticta sholai Subramanian & Babu, 2020 in 2017 from Periyar Tiger Reserve by Kalesh Sadasivan; and Zygonyx torridus isis Fraser, 1924 by M Jafer Palot from Aralam WLS, Kannur district has been added to Kerala list in the present publication elevating the total Odonata fauna of Kerala to 177 species.

Heliocypha bisgnata (Hagen in Selys, 1853) / Kalesh Sadasivan

Another four species have been added, making the total number to 181, based on personal records of other workers, namely, Paracercion malayanum Selys, 1876 by Bo Nielson, from Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Indothemis limbata sita Campion, 1923 and Indolestes pulcherrimus Fraser, 1924 by Muneer PK, from Wayanad; and Anax indicus Leiftinck 1942 by Suhas RK from Chinnar.

Calocypha laidlawi (Fraser, 1924) / Baiju K

Recently two new species of Torrent Darts Euphaea sp. from Maharashtra, northern Western Ghats and a range extension of Gynacantha khasiaca MacLachlan, 1896 to WG was published. Thus, considering the above, the current checklist of Odonates of the WG stands at 207 species with 80 endemics and that of Kerala at 181 species with 68 endemics.

Amphiallagma parvum (Selys, 1876) / Vinayan P Nair

Studies on odonates of the Western Ghats have been meagre compared to vertebrate groups. There are many species that have been described in the times of FC Fraser in the first half of 1900’s, but never found after the initial records. This means that there is a dearth of serious scientific works from the region. This paper provides an updated checklist of odonates of WG and Kerala and also enlists endemic species and those in IUCN Red List categories. Interestingly, none of the species is listed in Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. The present study will open the way for more systematic assessment of odonates.

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