Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New distribution record for Libellago corbeti (van der Poorten, N., 2009)


Libellago corbeti (Ebony Gem) is an endemic damselfly first identified in July 2007 from two male specimens seen near Kudawe and later on another two females from same locality in April 2008. It was described as a new species by Nancy van der Poorten in 2009 (van der Poorten, N., 2009). Additional sightings of it from the type locality as well as from several other forests of the south western wet zone were recorded subsequently (van der Poorten, N., 2011). Those additional places are -
1)      Near the start of the Moulawella nature trail, river running down from the Kudawa entry point and near the stream beside research station in the Sinharaja forest reserve.
2)      A stream in the Haycock hill – Hiniduma.
3)      A stream in the Morapitiya forest reserve.
4)      A stream near entrance of Kanneliya forest reserve.
5)      A specimen collected in 1892 by Col. Yerbury from Kottawa (Probably the Kottawa forest reserve of Galle) and now deposited at Natural History Museum London.
During a field visit to the Katepola, a remote village in Rathnapura district on 25th of  December 2013 we could photograph a male specimen of Libellago corbeti in a stream - a upper tributary of Kalu river -  beside a rubber plantation.  Eventhough the stream running through rubber estates and home gardens, stream itself and banks are well wooded and home to considerable number of fauna and flora including several endemics.  Libellago corbeti both males and females have been observed in that stream since May 2013 (Ishara Harshajith Wijewardhane, Personal communication, December 25, 2013)

Hitherto all published records of Libellago corbeti are from dense rain forest streams and this might be the first sighting of it from a disturbed habitat and also from a site with least protection from environmental authorities, unlike all other places mentioned above with considerable protection under the law. This record of it from further north of the type locality and all other additional places indicates that it might be distributed in wider area and also not very rare as previously thought. Currently it is categorized as a critically endangered species (van Der Porten N. & Karen Conniff , 2012)
van der Poorten, N., 2009. Libellago corbeti sp. nov. from Sri Lanka (Odonata: Chlorocyphidae). International Journal of Odonatology 12 (2): 223-230, pl. V.

van der Poorten, N., 2011. Additional records of Libellago corbeti van der poorten, 2009 in Sri Lanka with additional comparative notes on behavior. Agrion Newsletter of the worldwide dragonfly association 15(1): 18-20.

van Der Porten N. & Karen Conniff,  2012. The Taxonomy and Conservation Status of the Dragonfly Fauna (Insecta: Odonata) of Sri Lanka. In: The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka;Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Weerakoon, D.K. & S. Wijesundara Eds.,Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka. 1-11 pp

1 comment:

  1. Stayed at fantastic "Blue Magpie Lodge" in November this year and went for a walk (45 min.) to the "Sinharaja Adventure Resort ( ) Totally deserted,- but wonderful clean river. Saw my first L.corbeti there ( male ) and some E.bigemmata there among the weeds in the wonderful river.B.Nielsen. Denmark