The damselfly and dragonfly watercolour collection of Edmond de Selys Longchamps: I Agrionines


In the nineteenth century Edmond de Selys Longchamps assembled a collection consisting of watercolours, drawings and notes on Odonata. Most illustrations were based on specimens from his extensive odonate collection and were mainly executed by Selys himself and by Guillaume Severin. These illustrations and notes are presently housed in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels. To make this unpublished information accessible, we digitised this material and it will be presented on the website of this Institute. This first article presents the part of the collection concerning Agrionines (all Zygoptera except Calopterygoidea). The Agrionines are represented by 506 sheets with watercolours, 90 sheets with drawings in ink or pencil and 150 sheets with text. To provide an overview of the collection, subject matter and characteristics of the sheets with illustrations and the text sheets are analysed. The majority (85%) of all sheets with illustrations have been associated with current species names by using references and expert opinions. This information should facilitate searching for various species in the watercolour collection. The rediscovery and documentation of this collection of Selys, that remained largely unknown for almost a century, will hopefully prove useful to those conducting research on the taxonomy of Odonata.

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