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DRAGONFLIES

Although in spring and early summer rivers and streams cascade down from the Thásos mountains, the majority of these soon dry up and by July permanent water bodies are extremely scarce on the island. A couple of kilometres up behind the mountain village of Maries there is the small reservoir of Lákos Kastróu [see van de Mast & Gruwel (1999) for details] but otherwise breeding habitat for dragonflies is in very short supply.

Lopau (1999) summarised available published and unpublished records of Odonata from Thásos up the end of 1998, having visited the island in May 1996 and June 1997. His records cover a total of twenty-six species, amongst which the record of Ceriagrion tenellum at Skala Prinos is noteworthy. It is now recognised that tenellum is largely a species of western Europe and it is replaced by C. georgifreyi  in the eastern parts of its range. The Thásos record is considered to refer to the latter, which is otherwise known only from the Greek islands of Zakinthos and Corfu and along the Mediterranean coast from Turkey to Israel. To this list, I can add the record of a single specimen of Lindenia tetraphylla, photographed on the outskirts of Limenas in June 1982. This scarce species (determined by S.J. Brookes, BM(NH)) breeds in large water bodies with fringing reedbeds and is unlikely to be resident on Thásos unless it inhabits Lákos Kastróu. Caliaeschna, Lindenia, C. georgifreyi and both Cordulegaster species are rare in Europe as a whole, with centres of distribution further to the east.

The most comprehensive text for identification is Askew (1988), which also provides an indication of which other dragonflies may occur in this part of Greece.

ODONATA CHECKLIST (nomenclature after Askew 1988)

ZYGOPTERA

Calopteryx virgo festiva (Brullé)  Beautiful Demoiselle

Lestes viridis (Vander Linden)  Willow Emerald Damselfly

Lestes barbarus (F.) Southern Emerald Damselfly

Lestes macrostigma (Eversmann)  Dark Emerald Damselfly

Platycnemis pennipes (Pallas)  White-legged Damselfly

Erythromma (Cercion) lindeni (Sélys)  Goblet-marked Damselfly

Ischnura pumilio (Charpentier)   Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly

Ischnura elegans (Vander Linden)  Blue-tailed Damselfly

Ceriagrion georgifreyi (Schmidt)  Turkish Red Damselfly

 

ANISOPTERA

Aeshna mixta Latreille  Migrant Hawker

Aeshna affinis Vander Linden  Southern Migrant Hawker

Aeshna isoceles (Müller)  Green-eyed Hawker, Norfolk Hawker

Anax imperator Leach  Emperor Dragonfly

Anax parthenope Sélys  Lesser Emperor

Hemianax ephippiger (Burmeister)  Vagrant Emperor

Caliaeschna microstigma (Schneider)  Eastern Spectre

Onychogomphus forcipatus (Linnaeus Small Pincertail, Green-eyed Hook-tailed Dragonfly

Lindenia tetraphylla (Vander Linden Bladetail

Cordulegaster picta Sélys  Turkish Goldenring

Cordulegaster insignis Schneider    Blue-Eyed Goldenring

Somatochlora flavomaculata (Vander Linden)  Yellow-Spotted Emerald

Orthetrum cancellatum (L.)  Black-tailed Skimmer

Orthetrum brunneum (Fonscolombe)  Southern Skimmer

Orthetrum coerulescens (F.)  Keeled Skimmer

Crocothemis erythraea (Brullé)  Scarlet Darter

Sympetrum meridionale (Sélys)  Southern Darter

Sympetrum fonscolombei (Sélys)  Red-veined Darter

REFERENCES

Askew, R.R. (1988). The dragonflies of Europe. Harley Books, Colchester.

Lopau, W. 1999. Die Libellenfauna der griechischen Inseln Thássos, Samothráki und Limnos. Libellula, Supplement 2: 43-61.

van de Mast, T. & Gruwel, R. [1999]. Walking on Thassos. (Privately published booklet).

 

 

                            Crocothemis erythraea (Thomas Johansson)