The first recorded arrival of Anax junius, Drury (Anisoptera: Aeshnidae) in Europe: A scientist’s perspective


In September and October 1998 adults of Anax junius, (Common Green Darner) were encountered in small numbers at coastal sites in southwestern U.K. Circumstantial evidence supports the inference that they reached there on winds originating from New Brunswick and Quebec Canada in early September, a time when this species regularly migrates southwards along the Atlantic Canada and New England coasts of northeastern North America. Although identification of the specimens to species as currently defined seems secure, attempts to retain a voucher specimen were frustrated, making it impossible to re-evaluate the identification in the light of future taxonomic knowledge. Two physiological subspecific entities of Anax junius, are currently recognized in North America and it is not known to which entity the arriving individuals belonged. Capture of a voucher specimen for The Natural History Museum, London was prevented by vigilante action on a Cornwall Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Penlee, desplte prior permission to collect having been granted by the Trust. The incident was followed by wide dissemination of e-mails from an individual endorsing the vigilante action mounted against the would-be collector. Recommendations are offered for safeguarding the interests of scientists who deem it necessary to obtain voucher specimens.

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