Dragonflies and Damselflies of Mysore Area
Mysore Nature’s intention was to prepare an authenticated inventory of all the life forms in the Mysore area comprising of Chamarajanagar, Mandya & Mysore Districts. As our knowledge was limited to Plants, Butterflies, and Birds; priority was given to compile them first. Parallelly Frogs & Toads, Spiders and Dragonflies & Damselflies data collection was in progress. After documenting baseline diversity data of Frogs & Toads, and Spiders emphasised more on Dragonflies & Damselflies and the outcome is presented here.
Geography, Weather and Habitat characteristics:
The study area is situated in southern Karnataka comprising Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts. It is a part of the southern Plateau of Peninsular India and shares the river Kaveri basin.
The climate is moderate. The summer season is from March to the end of May with a spell of pre-monsoon showers. Southwest monsoon rainy season starts in June first week, continues till the September end. October and November are retreating monsoon season, with October being the wettest month. December to February is the dry season with clear bright weather. The area has a record of receiving an average of 761.9 mm (Mysore & Chamarajanagar) and 691.2 mm (Mandya) rainfall during the last century (Anon, 1988 & 2003).
Mysore area is an undulating tableland, fertile and well-watered by perennial rivers whose waters dammed by anicuts enrich their banks using canals. Wetlands are present in the form of various sized Tanks (1757 nos), Anicuts (22nos). Also, the rivers - Kaveri, Hemavathi, Kapila, Shimsha, Lakhmanathirtha, Suvarnavathi, Nugu, Lokapavani are spread unevenly in the entire area.
The vegetation found here is thorn-scrub (Saldana 1984; Rao & Razi 1981). Mysore area flora is quite wealthy and diverse with 1601 species of flowering plants belonging to 170 families and 778 genera (Rao & Razi 1981).
During the nature study and field trips, Dragonflies & Damselflies were observed and photographed for a decade. Visits were made for odonatans alone in 2020, as the movement was restricted due to COVID resulting in a better compilation of the Odonata checklist.
Dragonfly images were posted mostly in Facebook/DragonflySouthAsia and iNaturalist identified and authenticated by knowledgeable members. The outcome is brought out as a checklist.
A total of 66 species belonging to 9 families and 42 genera were recorded from the study area. 22 species of damselflies [Zygoptera] and 44 species of dragonflies [Anisoptera] were recorded and identified. Familywise representation of species - Lestidae (2), Calopterygidae (3), Chlorocyphidae (1), Coenagrionidae (11), Platycnemididae (5), Aeshnidae (6), Gomphidae (4), Macromiidae (1) & Libellulidae (33).
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 & Tomorrow's printers and publishers, New Delhi. 20- 22
Saldana,C.J. 1984. Flora of Karnataka, Vol I. Oxford and IBH publishing Co., Mumbai.
We are indebted to DragonflySouthAsia (https://www.facebook.com/groups/dragonflyindia) specially Aaratrik Pal, Amila Semanapala, Antoine van der Heijden, Benoît Guillon, Dattaprasad Sawant, Noppadon Makbun, Pankaj Korpade, Shantanu Joshi, Vinayan Nair, Vivek Chandran for identifying the species, explaining some of the behaviour, providing identification clue that helped to prepare a Mysore Area Odonata Checklist. In addition, we are also grateful to https://www.inaturalist.org, https://indiabiodiversity.org and https://www.indianodonata.org that made the checklist more authentic.
Though introduced to Odonata by Karthikeyan S in Mysore city as well as in Melkote, Mandya Dt under aegis’s of Mysore Amateur Naturalists & Dr. Subramanian KA in Aralam WLS during Butterfly India 2005 meet, we took almost one and half decade to prepare a Mysore region’s checklist.
Authors & Contributors:
Aaratrik Pal & Dr. Dattaprasad Sawant;
Kashyap R, Dr. Abhijith APC, Dr. Gayathri Devi BM,
Pavan Ramachandra, Kalpalata Rajan, Vijayalaxmi Rao & Shivaprakash A