Dragonflies and Damselflies of Mysore Area
This article is one of the first attempts to document the dragonflies and damselflies of the Mysore area with photographs for ease of identification.
Dragonflies and damselflies are scientifically classified under the order of Odonata. These are flying insects that generally lay eggs in water or on the vegetation near water bodies, which through metamorphosis develops into flying adults. Odonates are generally observed near water bodies and are often called aquatic insects.
Geography, Weather and Habitat characteristics:
The geographical area of interest in this article is located in the southern part of Karnataka, in the districts of Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanaga.
The climate in this study area is moderate, with the summer season spread between March and May, ending with a spell of pre-monsoon showers. The southwest monsoon season starts in the first week of June and continues till the end of September. The months of October and November have a retreating monsoon season, with October being the wettest month. December to February marks the cold season with clear and bright weather. Over the last century, this area has recorded an average rainfall of 761.9 mm in Mysore and Chamarajanagar and 691.2 mm in Mandya (Anon, 1988 & 2003).
The study area is an undulating table-land of the Deccan plateau, fertile and well-watered by perennial rivers - Kaveri, Hemavathi, Kapila, Shimsha, Lakhmanathirtha, Suvarnavathi, Nugu, and Lokapavani. These rivers are dammed with Anicuts (22 of them) and the stored water is distributed to neighboring lands with the help of canals. Additionally, the study area consists of about 1757 tanks of varying sizes.
The general vegetation in the study area consists of thorn-scrub (Saldana 1984; Rao & Razi 1981), with a wealthy and diverse flora of 1601 species of flowering plants, belonging to 170 families and 778 genera (Rao & Razi 1981).
The dragonflies and damselflies observed and photographed during nature study and field trips conducted in the last decade were identified with the help of handbooks (Subramanian, K.A. 2009; Jeevan Jose & Vivek Chandran A . 2020) and further authenticated by experts in the DragonflySouthAsia Facebook group.
A total of 53 species belonging to 9 families and 35 genera were recorded from the study area. Among which 34 species were dragonflies and 19 species were damselflies. The familywise distribution of the observed species is as follows - Libellulidae (30), Coenagrionidae (8), Platycnemididae (3), Aeshnidae (3), Calopterygidae (3), Lestidae (3), Chlorocyphidae (1), Gomphidae (1), and Macromiidae (1). The detailed checklist of the observed species and their photographs are attached below.
Anon. 1988: Karnataka state gazetteer, (Chief Editor: Suryanath U. Kamath) Mysore district. Bangalore: Government Press., Bangalore. Pp.1047
Anon. 2003. Karnataka state gazetteer, (Chief Editor: Parthsarathy T.A.) Mandya district, Government Press. Bangalore
Fraser, F.C (1936). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Odonata. Vols I-III. Taylor and Francis Ltd., London
Hosmani S P. 2012. Diversity and nestedness pattern of adult Odonata assemblages around Hadhinaru lake of Mysore, Karnataka. Abhinav Journal 1(3):20-28
Rao,R.R & Razi,B.A. 1981. A synoptic flora of Mysore district, Today and Tomorrow's printers and publishers, New Delhi. 20- 22
Saldana, C.J. 1984. Flora of Karnataka, Vol I. Oxford and IBH publishing Co., Mumbai.
Subramanian, K.A. 2009. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Peninsular India - A Field Guide. Vigyan Prasar, India.
Jeevan Jose & Vivek Chandran A (Ed). 2020. Introduction to Odonata. With Identification Keys for Dragonflies & Damselflies Found in Kerala. Version 2.0
V.J. Kalkman, R. Babu, M. Bedjanic, K. Conniff, T. Gyeltshen, M.K. Khan, K.A. Subramanian, A. Zia & A.G. Orr, Checklist of the dragonflies and damselflies (Insecta: Odonata) of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (Zootaxa 4849). 8 Sept. 2020 ISBN 978-1-77688-047-8 (Online edition)
We are indebted to the members of the DragonflySouthAsia Facebook group in helping with identification and explaining the behaviors of Odonata species. We are especially thankful to Aaratrik Pal, Antoine van der Heijden, Benoît Guillon, Dattaprasad Sawant, Noppadon Makbun, Pankaj Korpade, Shantanu Joshi, Vinayan Nair, Vivek Chandran for their guidance in identification. Additionally, we are grateful to citizen science websites such as https://www.inaturalist.org, https://indiabiodiversity.org and https://www.indianodonata.org that helped authenticate the species in the checklist.
Authors and Contributors:
CHECKLIST OF MYSORE AREA ODONATA
IMAGES OF MYSORE AREA ODONATA
1. Lestes elatus EMERALD SPREADWING Male [Kashyap R]
2. Lestes praemorsus SAPPHIRE EYED SPREADWING Male
3. Neurobasis chinensis STREAM GLORY Female
4. Vestalis apicalis BLACK-TIPPED FOREST GLORY Male
5. Vestalis apicalis BLACK-TIPPED FOREST GLORY Female
6. Libellago indica RIVER HELIODOR Male [Kashyap R]
7. Copera marginipes YELLOW BUSH DART Male
8. Disparoneura quadrimaculata BLACK WINGED BAMBOOTAIL Male
9. Onychargia atrocyana BLACK MARSH DART Male [Kalpalata Rajan]
10. Agriocnemis pygmaea PIGMY DARTLET Female Heteromorph [Kashyap R]
10. Agriocnemis pygmaea PIGMY DARTLET Female [Kashyap R]
11. Ceriagrion coromandelianum COROMANDEL MARSH DART Male [Kashyap R]
12. Ischnura rubilio WESTERN GOLDEN DARTLET Male
13. Ischnura senegalensis SENEGAL GOLDEN DARTLET [Kashyap R]
13. Ischnura senegalesis SENEGAL GOLDEN DARTLET Female form heteromorpha[Kashyap R]
13. Ischnura senegalesis SENEGAL GOLDEN DARTLET Female [Kashyap R]
14. Paracercion malayanum MALAYAN LILLY SQUATTER Male
15. Pseudagrion decorum THREE LINED GRASS DART Female [Kashyap R]
15. Pseudagrion decorum THREE LINED GRASS DART Male
15. Pseudagrion decorum THREE LINED GRASS DART Pair [Kashyap R]
16. Pseudagrion malabaricum MALABAR SPRITE
17. Pseudagrion microcephalum BLUE GRASS DARTLET Male
18. Pseudagrion rubriceps SAFFFRON FACED BLUE DART Pair
19. Anax guttatus BLUE TAILED GREEN DARNER Female [Vijayalaxmi Rao]
20. Anax indicus LESSER GREEN EMPEROR Male
21. Gynacantha millardi PARAKEET DARNER Male [Vijayalaxmi Rao]
22. Ictinogomphus rapax COMMON CLUBTAIL
23. Epophthalmia vittata COMMON TORRENT HAWK [Vijayalaxmi Rao]
24. Acisoma panorpoides TRUMPET TAIL Male
25. Brachydiplax sobrina LITTLE BLUE MARSH HAWK
26. Brachythemis contaminata DITCH JEWEL Males
27. Bradinopyga geminata GRANITE GHOST Male
28. Crocothemis servilia SCARLET SKIMMER Immature Male [Kashyap R]
28. Crocothemis servilia SCARLET SKIMMER Male [Kashyap R]
29. Diplacodes lefebvrii BLACK GROUND SKIMMER Female [Kashyap R]
30. Diplacodes nebulosa BLACK TIPPED GROUND SKIMMER Female
31. Diplacodes trivialis BLUE GROUND SKIMMER Female [Kashyap R]
32. Indothemis carnatica BLACK MARSH SKIMMER Male DIPLACODES LEFEBVRI MALE
33. Lathrecista asiatica ASIATIC BLOODTAIL Male [Kashyap R]
34. Neurothemis fulvia FULVOUS FOREST SKIMMER Male
35. Neurothemis tullia PIED PADDY SKIMMER Female
35. Neurothemis tullia PIED PADDY SKIMMER Male [Dr Abhijith APC]
36. Orthetrum chrysis BROWN BACKED MARSH HAWK Immature Male
37. Orthetrum luzonicum TRICOLORED MARSH HAWK Female [Pavan R]
37. Orthetrum luzonicum TRICOLORED MARSH HAWK Male
38. Orthetrum pruinosum CRIMSON TAILED MARSH HAWK Male
39. Orthetrum sabina GREEN MARSH HAWK Female [Kashyap R]
40. Orthetrum taeniolatum TAENIOLATE MARSH HAWK Immature Male
40. Orthetrum taeniolatum TAENIOLATE MARSH HAWK Male
41. Pantala flavescens WANDERING GLIDER
42. Potamarch congener YELLOW TAILED ASHY SKIMMER Male
43. Rhodothemis rufa RUFOUS MARSH GLIDER Immature Male
44. Rhyothemis variegata COMMON PICTURE WING Female
45. Tetrathemis platyptera PIGMY SKIMMER Male
46. Tholymis tillarga CORAL TAILED CLOUDWING Male
47. Tramea basilaris RED MARSH TROTTER Male [Kashyap R]
48. Tramea limbata BALCK MARSH Male
49. Trithemis aurora CRIMSON MARSH GLIDER Male
50. Trithemis festiva BLACK STREAM GLIDER Female
50. Trithemis festiva BLACK STREAM GLIDER Male
51. Trithemis kirbyi SCARLET ROCK GLIDER Male
52. Trithemis pallidinervis LONG LEGGED MARSH GLIDER Gayathri Devi BM]
53. Urothemis signata GREATER CRIMSON GLIDER Male