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Heliogomphus ceylonicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA INSECTA ODONATA GOMPHIDAE

Scientific Name: Heliogomphus ceylonicus
Species Authority: (Hagen, 1878)
Common Name(s):
English Sri Lanka Grappletail
Synonym(s):
Aeshna ceylonica Kirby, 1890
Gomphus ceylonicus Hagen, 1878
Taxonomic Notes: Originally described as Gomphus ceylonicus Selys, 1878, this species is known only from a single female. Due to distinct morphological characters, it was given specific rank by F.C. Fraser in the revision of the family Gomphidae from Sri Lanka (Fraser 1933).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-01-15
Assessor(s): Bedjanič, M.
Reviewer(s): Kalkman, V. & Clausnitzer, V. (Odonata Red List Authority)
Justification:
Not found since description, for almost 130 years. The wider area of the type locality was completely changed in last century. Since no really exhaustive odonatological faunistic survey, covering appropriate localities in different seasons, has been made by odonatologists in order to eventually find its remaining populations. The species qualifies for Critically Endangered as the extent of occurrence is less than 100 km² and the area of occupancy is less than 10 km² and a ongoing decline in the extent and quality of the habitat is suspected. More field research is urgently needed.
History:
2006 Critically Endangered (IUCN 2006)
2006 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sri Lanka; only the type locality is known (Rambode, Nuwara Eliya District). The species might be already extinct. Not present in any of the large odonatological collections from the island made by entomologist (not odonatologists!) in last 50 years (Naturhistorischen Museum Basle, Switzerland, National Museum of Natural History - Smithsonian Institution, USA Lund University, Sweden and University of Vienna, Austria - museum collections accessed by M. Bedjanic between 2005-2009). Also not found during the author’s surveys in last years (1995, 2001, 2003).
Countries:
Possibly extinct:
Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population size and trend is unknown, possibly extinct. Described from a single female, 130 years ago.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Exact habitat unknown, as for the genus it probably inhabits fast flowing streams with waterfalls and surrounding forest (known habitat of related H. walli). Male and larval form undescribed.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The wider area of the type locality was completely changed in last century. Fast flowing streams with waterfalls and surrounding forest are the type of habitat under treat. Destruction of primary and secondary rainforests, destruction of forest corridors along streams, pollution and other pressures on streams and rivers in the southwestern and central part of Sri Lanka are the major threat for exceptionally rich endemic dragonfly fauna of the island.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Apart from the general conservation guidelines, no "site specific single-species-oriented” conservation measures can be proposed for the moment.  General guidelines for protection of rich endemic dragonfly fauna of Sri Lanka include (1) establishment of network of new small protected areas and corridors in the 'wet zone' (mountains and the southwestern part of the country), (2) conservation of forest corridors along streams and rivulets outside protected areas in the wet zone and (3) effective execution of appropriate nature conservation measures in partly damaged declared protected areas (Bedjanic 2004).


General note: Knowledge on distribution, biology and taxonomy of several endangered endemic dragonfly species from Sri Lanka is very poor or insufficient. In the future special attention should be devoted to the work dealing with taxonomy of larval forms and adults. Serious odonatological faunistic mapping should cover the whole island and should be urgently focused on still preserved and protected areas. Simultaneously, the research of biology and ecology of selected endangered species should be carried out. As far as species habitat and potential area of occurrence is concerned the Sri Lankan Moist Forests (Ecoregion 21: Sri Lanka lowland rain forests (IM0154)) and South-western Sri Lanka Rivers and Streams (Ecoregion 172) are included in the prestigious WWF’s global 200 list of the earth’s most biologically outstanding habitats. The conservation status of the ecoregions is judged as critical/endangered (Ecoregion 21) and vulnerable (Ecoregion 172) (Olson et al. 2000).

Citation: Bedjanič, M. 2009. Heliogomphus ceylonicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 September 2014.
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