Molecular phylogenetic analysis and its impact on the conservation of Ischnura rubilio Selys, 1876 (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) in Taiwan


Although Ischnura aurora (Brauer, 1865) was traditionally considered to be widely distributed in Asia, the populations west of continental China have recently been identified as equivalent to Ischnura rubilio Selys, 1876. While the Taiwanese population has long been regarded as I. aurora as well, Taiwan in fact represents the distribution boundary between I. aurora and I. rubilio. Based on molecular and morphological analyses, we confirm that the “I. aurora-like” damselfly in Taiwan corresponds to I. rubilio. It is noteworthy that the abdominal blue spots of males in the Taiwan population have a unique phenotype compared to those found in specimens from India and continental China. According to past references and current surveys, the I. rubilio population in Taiwan has critically declined, with only one confirmed locality currently remaining. To maintain the Taiwanese population of I. rubilio, we recommend that prompt conservation measures of the habitat be implemented, focusing on the concept of the Satoyama Initiative.

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