The Gomphidae of Algeria and the Maghreb: status, ecology and conservation (Insecta: Odonata)


A survey of the Gomphidae of Algeria and the Maghreb was carried out during the period 2013–2014. Sampling of eight main wadis across northern Algeria was undertaken and adults and exuviae were recorded. The survey yielded six species of Gomphidae. Among these, we report on the rediscovery of the Critically Endangered Lindenia tetraphylla in Algeria, recorded in the nineteenth century and deemed to have been extinct after an absence of more than a century and a half. An exuvia was collected at Wadi Saoura, which constitutes the first proof of the breeding of this species in Algeria and the third record for North Africa. We also recorded a pale form of Onychogomphus uncatus, morphologically distinct from typical Moroccan and European phenotypes, suggesting some degree of subspeciation and inviting further taxonomical investigations of the genus Onychogomphus in North Africa. Due to increasing water demand, Gomphidae and their habitats are under great pressure in the Maghreb. Specific threats and conservation measures are discussed.

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