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Rediscovery of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae in Iran (Odonata: Cordulegastridae)

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Abstract. In July 2013, a total of 14 males of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae was observed in the Hyrcanian Forest, Alborz Mountains, north-western Iran, not far from the type locality. This is only the second record of this poorly known species from Iran. Seven male specimens were collected. The variation of abdominal colour patterns and other morphological characters are shown. Notes on the biology of this species and a description of the biotope of a recently discovered population in Armenia are given.
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Rediscovery of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae in Iran 25
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
1st June 2014
Rediscovery of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae in Iran
(Odonata: Cordulegastridae)
omas Schneider1, Elias Schneider1, Jacob Schneider1 & Ole Müller2
1 Arnold-Knoblauch-Ring 76, 14109 Berlin, Germany; <thomas.rs@gmx.de>
2 Birkenweg 6d, 15306 Libbenichen, Germany; <olemueller@bioscience-art.de>
Received 30th September 2013; revised and accepted 13th March 2014
Abstract. In July 2013, a total of 14 males of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae was observed in the
Hyrcanian Forest, Alborz Mountains, north-western Iran, not far from the type locality. is
is only the second record of this poorly known species from Iran. Seven male specimens were
collected. e variation of abdominal colour patterns and other morphological characters
are shown. Notes on the biology of this species and a description of the biotope of a recently
discovered population in Armenia are given.
Key words. Dragony, Anisoptera, morphological variation, male behaviour, Hyrcanian
Forest, Alborz Mountains
Introducon
Cordulegaster vanbrinkae Lohmann, 1993 was originally described based
on a single male specimen collected by H. Paulus on 23-vii-1971 about
7 km north of Veysar in northern Iran (L 1993). Since then, no
other record of C. vanbrinkae has been reported from Iran (H 
D ; K et al. ; R ). In July 2010 a
population of this species was discovered in similar woodland habitat in
south-eastern Armenia (A T 2012). A comparison of the
ve male specimens captured in Armenia with the holotype from north-
ern Iran interpreted colour values and pattern as well as minor structural
variations (A  T 2012). erefore we present both structural
and colour characteristics of male specimens collected in July 2013 in the
Hyrcanian forest in Iran, at a site situated near the type locality. As nearly
nothing is known about the biology of C.vanbrinkae, we additionally pro-
vide preliminary observations on the behaviour of males. In addition, we
compare the two known habitats and speculate on the geographic distribu-
tion of this enigmatic species.
T. Schneider, E. Schneider, J. Schneider & O. Müller
26
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
Methods
In July 2013, ES, JS, and TS travelled to northern Iran to search for Cor-
dulegaster vanbrinkae. e region visited was the Hyrcanian Forest, ca
1km north of the village of Veysar, 1,438 m a.s.l., in the Alborz Mountains
(36°27’59’’N, 51°32’26’’E), south of the Caspian Sea (Fig.1), situated not
far from the type locality. Eective days spent in the eld were 16-, 18- and
21-vii-2013. e research focused on imagines, which were captured with
a net for determination and recording of morphological details. e iden-
tication of seven captured males was made by comparison of the append-
ages with those in published accounts (L 1993; A  T
2012).
Results
Identication of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae
A total of 14 Cordulegaster vanbrinkae males were observed during the
three days spent in the eld, of which seven specimens were collected for
examination. e structure of the male appendages of one of these speci-
mens is shown in Figure2. e male superior appendages resemble those of
Figure 1. Map of the known () and suspected ( ) occurrence of Cordulegaster
vanbrinkae.
Rediscovery of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae in Iran 27
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
C.picta. ey are slender, diverging and as long as S10. Viewed in prole the
superior appendages are terminally curved dorsad, with the basal tooth very
small, triangular, close to tergite 10, and oen hidden by the much longer
setae of the appendage. e ratio of lengths of upper/lower appendage is ca
1.3 in C.vanbrinkae and ca 2 in C.picta. Besides these minor structural dif-
ferences of the appendages, males of C.vanbrinkae also have a distinctive
overall appearance distinguishing them from similar species of the C.bol-
tonii-group, such as C.picta Selys, 1854 or C.heros eischinger, 1979. One
dierence was the long and slender abdomen of C.vanbrinkae males, which
diers clearly from C. heros males as well as from the more stoutly built
C.picta. A further striking dierence was the very dark abdomen, some-
times with only a few very faint yellow marks. e abdominal colour varia-
tion of our seven males from northern Iran is shown in Figure3. In contrast
to C.picta males, which have usually two little faint yellow dots on the black
Figure 2. Lateral, ventral, and dorsal view of the male anal appendages of Cor-
dulegaster vanbrinkae of one of the specimens (A–C), and of C. picta (D–F) from

T. Schneider, E. Schneider, J. Schneider & O. Müller28
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
occipital triangle, the occipital triangle was completely black in all seven
of our individuals. e yellow pattern on the thoracic metepisternum was
completely absent in one individual, reduced to three disjunct yellow marks
in four individuals (Fig.4), and reduced to three very faint small yellow dots
in the other two.
A black bar was present on the frons in all animals. e dorsal part of
S1 was black in all individuals, with, however, shining yellow hairs above
making it somewhat paler there. e sides of S1 of all specimens show the
typical yellow mark of members of the C.boltonii-group on their lower edge
Figure 3.          Cordule-
gaster vanbrinkae, collected in the Hyrcanian Forest near Veysar in northern Iran,

Rediscovery of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae in Iran 29
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
(Fig. 4). Further morphological characteristics are given in Table 1. e
overall size and shape resembles the European C.heros and C.picta from
the C.boltonii-group. When the values given for total length and abdominal
length of C.heros and C.picta by  P (2006) are compared with our
own material (data not shown), the total length and the abdominal length
in our small series of C.vanbrinkae males fell between C.picta and C.heros.
In six of the seven Iranian C.vanbrinkae males the hind wing anal loop had
ve cells, the other individual having four cells (Tab.1).
Notes on behaviour
Males of C. vanbrinkae were observed between 11 and 15 h IRST (UTC
+3.30 h). ey continuously patrolled rapidly downstream along a little
brook, 60 to 100 cm above the water. None was observed ying upstream
over the water. e patrolling stretches were long (>50 m) and it was im-
Figure 4. Living male of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae, captured in the Hyrcanian For-
  

T. Schneider, E. Schneider, J. Schneider & O. Müller
30
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
possible to follow the dragonies visually to the end of their stretch, as they
always moved out of sight. In some cases, individuals were observed ying
upstream among the bank-side trees and bushes. In a few cases, males be-
gan their patrol from a perch in a tree – probably their resting site – from a
height of about 3–6 m. Flight activity started when the temperature was at
least 18°C and reached a maximum at 23°C, when the sun was shining. At
low temperatures and in cloudy weather, patrolling males were seen only
rarely, approximately one individual per hour. When the temperature was
about 21–22°C and the sun was shining, a patrolling male passed the ob-
server at the rivulet every 15–20 minutes. No exuviae were found and no
females were detected. Further down in the Hyrcanian Forest, no sightings
were made at elevations below 1,000 m. Nor were any sightings recorded
upstream of the rivulet before it entered the Hyrcanic Forest near the village
of Veysar, but just a few metres within the forest C.vanbrinkae was present.
Habitat description
Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests in the Alborz Mountains cover the coast
along the Caspian Sea and the northern slopes of the Alborz Mountains. is
area of lush lowland and montane forests covers today about 55,000 km2
near the southern shores of the Caspian Sea in Iran and Azerbaijan (K
2005). e forest is named aer the ancient region of Hyrcania (wolf land).
e Caspian Hyrcanian forest is a temperate broadleaf mixed wood con-
sisting of very old and imposing trees such as beech (Fagus sp.), hornbeam
(Carpinus sp.), and elm (Ulmus sp.), similar to the original woodland for-
merly found in much of Europe. Cordulegaster vanbrinkae was restricted
to middle elevations in this forest, between ca 1,000 and 1,600 m a.s.l.. e
species habitat consisted of small, fast-owing brooks and rivulets, heavily
shaded by large trees such as the Oriental Beech Fagus orientalis and Wych
Table 1.       Cordulegaster van-
brinkae. Measurements are given as median and range.
Total size
[mm]

[mm]
Hind wing length
[mm]
Cells in the
anal loop [n]
80.04 (7.22–80.35) 59.06 (57.69–61.01) 48.27 (48.01–49.55) 5 (4–5)
Rediscovery of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae in Iran 31
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
Elm Ulmus glabra. During our visits in the morning and evening, mountain
fog or slight rain was oen observed (Fig. 5). During the observation peri-
ods, the temperature usually rose from 18°C at 11h to a maximum of 23°C
at 14–15 h IRST. One of the stretches of the brook where the species was
regularly patrolling is shown in Figure6. Other dragonies were very rare
on this brook and included only Caliaeschna microstigma.
Discussion
We searched for Cordulegaster vanbrinkae near the type locality in the Hyr-
canian Forest, Alborz Mountains, northern Iran, and found it not far from
the village of Veysar just aer the rivulet entered the forest. However, de-
spite intensive searching during a ten day visit we failed to record the spe-
cies on the same rivulet either outside the forest or at elevations lower than
1,000m in the forest. We also searched for it on many other river systems in
the region of Mazandaran and Gilan.
As already mentioned by L (1993), the male appendages of
C.vanbrinkae resemble those of C.picta. e basal tooth on the upper ap-
pendage of C.vanbrinkae is clearly smaller than in C.picta and oen hidden
by the hairs of the appendage and better seen in ventro-lateral view than in
dorso-lateral view as in the picture shown by A T (2012).
is basal tooth on the upper appendage is, however, not hidden by the last
tergite as stated by L (1993).
One striking feature is the long and slender abdomen of C.vanbrinkae
males, which appears dierent from C.heros males as well as from the more
stoutly built shape of C. picta. e C.vanbrinkae males seen by us on the
wing in the Hyrcanian Forest were all very dark, had a slender abdomen and
green eyes. Dark forms of C.heros in the Carpathian mountains (H
2011) and dark forms of C.picta in the Rhodope Mountains (B 2001)
and northern Anatolia (B 2013) have been delineated. ese forms
generally have much yellower surfaces than C.vanbrinkae, although single
individuals in northern Anatolia are particularly dark and may be taken su-
percially for C.vanbrinkae (B 2013), which represents the darkest
Cordulegaster species in the Western Palaearctic. A  T (2012)
mention an »extensive pale pattern anteriorly« on S1 in the holotype from
Iran. However, all seven males captured by us showed a completely black S1,
T. Schneider, E. Schneider, J. Schneider & O. Müller
32
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
like those from Armenia. us, our observations from a nearly topotypical
population show that this colour pattern either refers just to yellowish hairs
instead of the actual integument colour, or was a post-mortem artefact. Fur-
thermore there were some dierences in the cells of the hind wing anal loop,
four in the holotype from Iran and ve in the specimens from Armenia
(A  T 2012). In our series of seven males from Iran, six had
ve cells and one four cells in the anal loop, indicating that the range of cells
is not dependent on the locality. e transversal dark bar on the frons was
present in all the seven males from Iran discussed here. us, all the varia-
tion between C.vanbrinkae in Armenia and Iran previously recorded (J.-P.
Boudot in A  T 2012) appears well within the range of intra-
population variation in the species identied here.
Some of its patrolling characteristics resemble the European C.heros, such
as the fast and high patrol ight over the water surface, in contrast to other
members of the C. boltonii-group (S 2008). Notably, males
of C. vanbrinkae in the Hyrcanian Forest only patrolled the rivulet down-
stream and did not return over the water. ey preferred perches on trees
and bushes at heights above 3m for resting.
Figure 6. Stretch of a rivulet in the
Hyr canian Forest near Veysar in
northern Iran, where Cordulegaster
vanbrinkae was regularly patrolling

Figure 5. Regularly occurring moun-
tain fog in the Hyrcanian Forest near
Veysar in northern Iran (16-vii-2013;

Rediscovery of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae in Iran 33
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
e Caspian Hyrcanian Forest in the Alborz Mountains is rapidly vanish-
ing due to extensive logging for agricultural purposes and suers heavily
throughout from degradation and overexploitation due to socio-economic
disruption (K 2005). As a temperate broadleaf mixed forest, it displays
similarities to the original woods that covered the middle latitudes of Europe
during the Pliocene. It also resembles the temperate rainforests of the Pon-
tic Alps in the East Black Sea region, although some important dierences
are evident, such as the absence of 10 tree species in the Hyrcanian Forest
(Z 1971). In the Hyrcanian Forest there is a high rate of endemicity.
ere are some similarities and some striking dierences between the habi-
tats in Armenia and Iran. e elevation and the type of shaded brooks are
very similar. However, the climate with mountain fogs and with relatively
low temperatures in the Iranian site is in sharp contrast with the dry and
warm climate of the Armenian habitat of the species. Another, completely
dierent habitat was recently recorded in Azerbaijan, where the species was
found at lower elevations, at a rivulet with only scattered forest cover. is
region is located in the Lenkoran District (38°40’56.5’’N, 48°46’58.5’’E, 51m
a.s.l.) not far from the Iranian border (S  S 2014).
us, we speculate that the species’ range probably covers the total area
of the Hyrcanian Forest, from the east of Iran near the border with Turk-
menistan to Azerbaijan across the south Caspian region, and further along
the Talysh Mountains to South Armenia in the west, reaching perhaps the
southern fringe of the Caucasus. e potential distribution and the four
known localities are shown in Figure 1. At present, no overlap in the distri-
butions of C.vanbrinkae and C.picta is known. It could be worthwhile in-
vestigating if there exists a syntopic co-occurrence where their distributions
meet, as it has been shown for C. heros and C. boltonii (S
2008).
Acknowledgements
We thank Hassan Mohit for excellent guiding and Ekkehard Wachmann
for making excellent photos from the appendages. We wish to thank Jean-
Pierre Boudot for improving the manuscript with his suggestions. Albert G.
Orr, Asmus Schröter and Florian Weihrauch helped to edit the manuscript
in its nal form.
T. Schneider, E. Schneider, J. Schneider & O. Müller
34
Odonatologica 43(1/2) 2014: 25-34
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
   2002. An anno-
tated check-list of the Odonata of Iran. Zoo-
logy in the Middle East 26: 133-150
 O. 2011. A dark colour form of Cor-
dulegaster heros (Odonata: Cordulegastri-
dae). Časopis Slezského zemského muzea
(A) 60: 235-237
      
-
cies of Odonata in Turkey, Iran and the Cau-
casus. Internaonal Journal of Odonatology
7: 325-339
     
-
       
(
integriertes Management der Kaspi schen
    
      
Chalus, Nordiran: 45-63. Naturschutz und


  1993. Revision der Cordule-
     
Cordulegaster, Anotogaster,
Neallogaster und Sonjagaster (Anisoptera).
Odonatologica 22: 273-294
    
        
knowledge of Odonata (Insecta) from West
En-
tomofauna 34: 369-375
 W. 2008. Syntopes Vorkom-
men von Cordulegaster boltonii und
C. heros  
der österreich (Odonata: Cordulegastridae).
Libellula 27: 1-32
     2014.

     
Notulae odonatologicae 8 (3): 67-76
 2006. Cordulegaster. In: Dijk-
      
   -
    
Gillingham
    
 
       Plant
life of South-West Asia-

... picta Selys, 1854 it represents the eastern subgroup (Verschuren 1989;Boudot 2001). Cordulegaster vanbrinkae is the darkest species of the genus, with the yellow dots on the abdomen reduced (Lohmann 1993;Ananian & Tailly 2012;Schneider et al. 2014). It was described based on one specimen collected 1971 north of the locality of Veysar near the town of Chalus, in the Alborz Mountains in northern Iran (Lohmann 1993). ...
... It was described based on one specimen collected 1971 north of the locality of Veysar near the town of Chalus, in the Alborz Mountains in northern Iran (Lohmann 1993). Subsequently, C. vanbrinkae was recorded in 2010 in south-eastern Armenia in the surroundings of Verin Khotanan village (Ananian & Tailly 2012) and then in 2013 at two localities in the Caspian region: One in south-eastern Azerbaijan in the surrounding of the Azfilial settlement (Skvortsov & Snegovaya 2014) and another in the area surrounding the type locality in Iran (Schneider et al. 2014). ...
... The eastern border could be well in the promontory of forests in north-eastern Iran near the border with Turkmenistan (cf. Schneider et al. 2014), which would match both the south-eastern spur of the Fagus orientalis range (Euforgen 2014) and the range of the genus Tilia (Yousefzadeh et al. 2010). Schneider et al. (2014) suggested that the species is restricted to elevations between 1,000 and 1,600 m a.s.l. ...
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The occurrence of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae was studied in Gīlān and Māzandarān provinces in northern Iran in July 2014. Ten localities demonstrated the occurrence of C. vanbrinkae at elevations from 169 to 1,424 m a.s.l. Larvae were found at seven localities and oviposition was observed at two localities. A total of 65 males, five females, 95 larvae, and 32 exuviae were found. Habitats were classified into the following types: a) narrow, shallow streams in forests at middle and higher altitudes; b) boulder-stepped shaded forest streams; c) deep cut forest streams with gravel banks, drying to intermittent pools; and d) broader sunlit rivers.
... Orthetrum luzonicum (Ghahari et al. 2009). The presence of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae in Iran has been confirmed recently (Schneider et al. 2014), and a new Aeshna species living in the Hyrcanian Forest could be described (Schneider et al. 2015b). Thus, further faunistic studies on the dragonfly-fauna of North-Iran are necessary to provide more precise data. ...
... The total number of species or subspecies recorded from the country reaches about 105 (Schmidt 1954, Heidari & Dumont 2002, Ebrahimi et al. 2009, Ghahari et al. 2009, 2012Sadeghi & Mohammadalizadeh 2009, Dumont et al. 2011, Rastegar et al. 2013, Schneider et al. 2015a. Even until recently new species were described and others confirmed (Lohmann 1993, Dumont & Heidari 1996, Heidari & Dumont 2002, Schneider et al. 2014, Schneider et al. 2015b. ...
... Aeshna vercanica (Fig. 4) is a sister species to the well known Aeshna cyanea, which was not described until recently despite its enigmatic appearance and its large size, probably because of its crepuscular behaviour. The range of this new species overlaps with the recent distribution of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae (Schneider et al. 2014) (Fig. 5). Both species inhabit rapids and running waters in the forest. ...
... Boudot, 2001;Paulson et al., 2022;Schneider et al., 2021). The male adults of C. vanbrinkae Lohmann, 1993 are known from studies by Lohmann (1993), Ananian & Tailly (2012), Skvortsov & Snegovaya (2014), Schneider et al. (2014) and Holuša et al. (2015). Female is described recently by Holuša (2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Holuša (2022): Description of the last instar larva of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae and emergence place from northern Iran (Odonata: Cordulegastridae). Abstract. The larva of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae Lohmann, 1993 is described and illustrated based on fourteen final instar larvae and 49 exuviae that were collected in Gīlān, Māzandarān and Golestān provinces, in northern Iran in July 2014, July 2017 and August 2018. Larvae of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae show signs of lateral spine on 8 th segment missing , ratio of lateral spine on 9 th segment/9 th segment is 0.03-0.15 and 5 (rarely 6) long premental setae. The characters have a clear variability and there is a noticeable overlap of character values with related species-Cordulegaste picta and Cordulegaster heros. Emergence habitat are described and analysed.
... Cordulegaster picta from South-West Turkey and Samos are rather yellow, where those from the Black Sea region are much darker ( Figure 20). C. vanbrinkae is restricted to the South Caspian Sea region [68,69]. In East Anatolia, possibly reaching Armenia and North-West Iran, a new species, C. kalkmani was found. ...
... Cordulegaster picta from South-West Turkey and Samos are rather yellow, where those from the Black Sea region are much darker ( Figure 20). C. vanbrinkae is restricted to the South Caspian Sea region [68,69]. In East Anatolia, possibly reaching Armenia and North-West Iran, a new species, C. kalkmani was found. ...
Article
Full-text available
Taxonomy of the genus Cordulegaster Leach in Brewster, 1815 in the Eastern part of the Western Palaearctic is poorly resolved. A two-step approach was applied: sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA fragments were used to sort specimens; poorly known or new taxa with their phenotypic variation were described. The existence of two traditional groups (boltonii- and bidentata-group) was confirmed. Cordulegaster coronata Morton, 1916, however, belongs to a different group. Molecular-analysis supported three known and one new species (C. heros Theischinger, 1979, C. picta Selys, 1854, C. vanbrinkae Lohmann, 1993, and C. kalkmani sp. nov.) in the boltonii-group. In the bidentata-group, all specimens from West-Turkey belonged to C. insignis Schneider, 1845, all specimens further east to a complex of four closely related species, which we name charpentieri-complex (C. amasina Morton, 1916, stat. rev., C. mzymtae Bartenev, 1929 C. charpentieri (Kolenati, 1846), stat. rev. and C. cilicia sp. nov.). The following taxa: C. insignis nobilis Morton, 1916, syn. nov., C. nachitschevanica Skvortsov and Snegovaya, 2015, syn. nov. C. plagionyx Skvortsov and Snegovaya, 2015, syn. nov. and the Caucasian subspecies C. insignis lagodechica Bartenev, 1930, syn. nov., were synonymized with C. charpentieri. Finally, we provide a key for all Western Palaearctic Cordulegaster.
... The total number of species or subspecies recorded from the country are far from clear but is estimated to be about 100 (Schmidt 1954, Heidari & Dumont 2002, Dumont et al. 2011, Eslami et al. 2014, Ikemeyer et al. 2015, Schneider & Dumont 2015, Schneider et al. 2015a, Schneider et al. 2015b ). Even until recently new species were described and others confirmed and rediscovered (Lohmann 1993, Dumont & Heidari 1996, Heidari & Dumont 2002, Schneider et al. 2014, Schneider et al. 2015c ). Unfortunately , some of the recent reports on the odonatan fauna of Iran are in several aspects doubtful. ...
... Its western and eastern limits are somewhat uncertain. However, this region largely overlaps with that of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae (Schneider et al. 2013). In fact, we found both species at the same brooks, although C. vanbrinkae generally preferred elevations above 700 m a.s.l. ...
Article
Full-text available
Aeshna vercanica sp. nov. is described and illustrated. The male holotype and four male paratypes were collected on 15-VII-2013 in the Hyrcanian forest of the Alborz Mountains, Ma¯zandara¯n province, northwestern Iran. A specimen collected on 29-vi-2002 in the Talysh Hills, Lankoran area, Azerbaijan, also belongs to the new species. In July 2014 the species, including females, was recorded again at the type locality and additionally ca 400 km further east in Golesta¯n province. Males are similar to Aeshna cyanea in the structure of genitalia and terminalia but differ in head morphology, pterostigma length, colour pattern, and behaviour. Females have small abdominal blue or turquoise postero-median dorsal spots which are absent on S9 and S10, thin green antehumeral stripes, a less robust appearance than females of A. cyanea, and are more slender and longer. The range of A. vercanica sp. nov. covers the Hyrcanian forest along the southern margin of the Caspian Sea. Analysis of the barcoding COI sequence of DNA confirmed that A. vercanica sp. nov. is separated from A. cyanea by a genetic distance of ca 4%. The ITS gave a similar result. A haplotype map could not derive A. vercanica sp. nov. directly from A. cyanea. They are thus related but different species, and we suggest the common ancestor lived in pre-Pleistocene times. Analysis of A. cyanea specimens from across its range also revealed a western clade from the Maghreb to Central Europe. Populations from the Caucasus to Eastern Europe were polytomous, a common scenario for post-glacial invaders. A molecular comparison of the species pair A. juncea and A. subarctica showed these to be even more closely related than A. cyanea and A. vercanica sp. nov.
Article
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During four field trips in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan from 2010 to 2018, the author collected data of a total of 55 species. This study provides first insights into new or rare species in this ecoregion. Ischnura fountaineae and Cordulia aenea were found for the first time in Armenia. We also highlight the rediscovery of some species that were mentioned in the older literature but had not been confirmed since. An autochthonous population of Lestes macrostigma was discovered in Azerbaijan sixteen years after the single previous record by Dumont (2004). Original information is provided on the distribution of some rare species encountered in these countries. Finally, the identification of a puzzling Cordulegaster sp. observed in south Armenia is discussed briefly
Article
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A perusal of the literature and study of some additional collections leads to a list of 95 species and subspecies of dragonflies for Iran. We claim that at least another 15 Eurosiberian and Oriental species await discovery. Eurosiberian species dominate in the north-west and along the Caspian coast; as one moves south in western Iran, Middle-East endemics become more prominent, and a limited admixture of Afrotropical species occurs. The central desert axis is a zoogeographical break, in which predominantly Irano-Turanian species are found. East of it, Irano-Turanians mix with Oriental elements. The Oriental element is particularly strong along the Makran coast, where, additionally, a short series of species occurs with a full Oriental-Afrotropical range. The Zagros mountains and their extensions in Sistan-Baluchistan facilitate dragonfly dispersal across an otherwise arid area, but have been insufficiently studied. The same is true of the Kopet Dag, which provides a wedge between the Asian deserts, and acts as a filter for Eurosiberian species to reach the high mountains of Afghanistan and, vice versa, allows Mesasiatic species to spread west. All these conclusions are at a qualitative level: large parts of Iran are still unstudied, and the mapping of the range of individual species remains to be done. Eastwest and north-south clines are common in Calopteryx splendens and other zygopterans, but remain to be worked out in detail.
Article
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A dark colour form of Cordulegaster heros (Odonata: Cordulegastridae) In July 2010 a dark colour form of the male of Cordulegaster heros was recorded at the Kamenný potok stream in the village of Modra-Piesok in the southern part of the Malé Karpaty Mts. in Slovakia. Differences between the typical colouring and the dark colour form are described.
Article
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On 13 July 2010, in a woodland near the village of Verin Khotanan, Armenia, five males of Cordulegaster vanbrinkae were captured. These specimens are documented, compared with the holotype from Iran and discussed in detail. The current protection situation of this species in Armenia is briefly commented. In addition, the locus typi-cus information of the holotype from Iran is corrected and detailed.
Article
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An overview is given of the present knowledge and current research on the Odonata fauna of Turkey, Iran, and the Caucasus. The occurrence of endemic taxa and of rare and possibly threatened species is discussed. The use of water from various aquatic habitats is reviewed in order to gain insight in existing and potential problems, and a number of conservation measures are proposed. The creation of a few protected key areas for vulnerable species is considered to be the most effective measurement at short notice. Taking our restricted knowledge into account, it is concluded that only a general increase in the awareness of the necessity to deal with environmental problems, both with governmental organisations as well as with the public in the countries involved, may help solving problems regarding aquatic habitats.
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