Florida trip postscript

Dennis Paulson dpaulson@ups.edu
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 dpaulson@ups.edu
Tacoma, WA 98416

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