[Odonata-l] Erythemis mithroides new for USA

Dennis Paulson dpaulson at ups.edu
Fri May 7 17:29:34 PDT 2004

Martin Reid recently photographed a mature male Erythemis mithroides 
in Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Hidalgo Co., Texas (reported 
in TexOdes, photos at http://www.martinreid.com/odonate20.html). The 
English name, as coined in the dragonfly handbook by Needham, 
Westfall & May, is "Claret Pondhawk." This species was known north to 
Tamaulipas in Mexico, so it's not terribly surprising, but it's an 
exciting record nevertheless, following on the heels of the discovery 
of Erythemis peruviana in Texas just a few years ago and the 
substantial spread of both E. plebeja and E. vesiculosa northward 
through Texas in recent years.

The "mithroides" is actually an undescribed Mexican species close to 
the true mithroides of Central and South America. I have been wanting 
to describe this species for some years and will now make it a very 
high priority to give it a name.

In addition to the increase in records because of more observers, I 
feel there is a very real movement of tropical species northward into 
subtropical latitudes. Any Mexican odonate species that occurs north 
into Tamaulipas may be fair game in south Texas.
Dennis Paulson, Director                           phone 253-879-3798
Slater Museum of Natural History                 fax 253-879-3352
University of Puget Sound                       e-mail dpaulson at ups.edu
1500 N. Warner, #1088
Tacoma, WA 98416-1088

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