Florida trip postscript
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 09:59:03 -0800
Odonata - http://www.listbot.com/cgi-bin/subscriber
Hello again. I left one species out of my account of our trip to southern
Florida, as I hadn't yet identified it. Imagine my surprise when I caught
a male damselfly in the Fakahatchee Strand, west of Copeland in the Big
Cypress Swamp, that I didn't recognize! It turned out that I had seen it
before, but so long ago that my mental picture of it was hazy. I ran
through a list of genera when I returned home and finally found it. I had
forgotten how distinct its appendages are.
It is Chrysobasis lucifer, a coenagrionid described by Nick Donnelly in
1967 from Guatemala and subsequently found in Costa Rica and Belize. Not
known from the West Indies, it is a real surprise in Florida, but there it
is. I wouldn't be surprised if it was discovered in western Cuba (a
country that would richly reward more dragonfly field work).
I spent considerable time looking for additional individuals with no luck.
In over a year of field research in Costa Rica, I found the species at only
one locality, but it was fairly common there, and hopefully someone will
discover a thriving population in Florida. For those of you heading for
the Fakahatchee, it is about the length of a typical Enallagma but very
slender, the males with greenish thorax and black, orange-tipped abdomen.
The superior appendages are fairly long and triangular from above,
flattened and broad at the base and pointed at the tip, with a depression
in the middle.
I've already written up this trip for submission to a journal, especially
because odonates in southern Florida are furnishing strong support for
predictions that would be made from hypotheses about the effects of global
warming: (1) northward range extensions, and (2) longer flight seasons.
Dennis Paulson, Director phone 253-756-3798
Slater Museum of Natural History fax 253-756-3352
University of Puget Sound e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Tacoma, WA 98416
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