Saturday, April 27, 2013

Crete - Odonata

 Crocothemis erythraea - found in small numbers near water.

My recent two-week trip to Crete netted ten species of Odonata, in addition to the eight species photographed here we also recorded Anax imperator (scattered singles) and Hemianax ephippiger (recorded on four dates).  Surprisingly the latter species was the most frequently observed Anisopteran - my first sightings in the Western Palearctic but sadly no photo opportunities came my way. Found some good spots for a return trip in summer to chase after the two endemic Odonates found on this fantastic Mediterranean island.

 Orthetrum brunneum - only recorded at the stream outflow on Triopetra beach.

Ischnura elegans - the commonest Zygopteran on Crete during our trip.

Lestes barbarus - found at one ephemeral wetland near Viglotopi.

Calopteryx splendens - found on the Preveli river at the bridge en route to the monastery of that name. This individual had a malformed hindwing sadly. The cretensis subspecies may well be elevated to a full species as the genetic distance between this form and other splendens forms is apparently larger than recent splits from the complex like syriaca.

Orthetrum cancellatum - recorded at just two sites.

Sympecma fusca - just one recorded during the trip at the Petres River on the north coast.

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