Odonata fauna of Sri Lanka: research state and threat status


Altogether 116 odonate species are known from Sri Lanka. The level of endemism is high -53 taxa or 45.7% are confined to the island. The Chlorocyphidae, Euphaeidae, Protoneuridae, Platystictidae, Gomphidae and Corduliidae consist of almost exclusively endemic taxa. The odonate fauna of Sri Lanka is still insufficiently known. Knowledge on distribution, biology and taxonomy of adults and especially larval forms is very poor. An assessment of threat status showed that it is very endangered due to habitat destruction. A list of 47 endangered odonate taxa has been compiled. It consists of exclusively endemic taxa and comprises more than 80% of described species confined to the island. Altogether 20 species are preliminary put in the IUCN categories ‘extinct’ (EX) and ‘critically endangered’ (CR) and are urgently proposed for inclusion in the IUCN Red List. Future odo-natological research priorities and recommendations are given. Special attention should be devoted to the work dealing with taxonomy of larval forms and adults. Serious faunistic mapping should cover the whole island and should be focused on still preserved areas. Simultaneously also the research of biology of selected species and research of seasonal phenology of adult Odonata should be carried out. Effective nature conservation measures in declared protected areas as well as the establishment of new protected areas and corridors in the Wet zone is of biggest importance for effective long-term preservation of a rich endemic fauna and flora of Sri Lanka, including odonates.

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