Rhyothemis semihyalina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Odonata Libellulidae

Scientific Name: Rhyothemis semihyalina (Desjardins, 1832)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Phantom Flutterer
Libellula semihyalina Desjardins, 1832
Taxonomic Source(s): Schorr, M. and Paulson, D. 2015. World Odonata List. Revision 22 December 2015. Tacoma, Washington, USA Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: The nominotypical subspecies is restricted to Mauritius Islands and is defined by small dark patches at the base of the forewings and the dark area of the hindwings reaching the nodus. The subspecies Rhyothemis semihyalina separata (Selys, 1849) extends over the whole continental African and Arabian range of the species and is defined by forewings lacking dark patches at base (totally hyaline) and the dark area of the hindwings not reaching the nodus.

Another subspecies, R. s. syriaca (Selys, 1849) was described from the Jordan Valley, where it was supposedly endemic (and is now extinct), and was defined by a dark area at the base of hindwings which do not reach the nodus and where the last row of cells on the posterior wing margin remains hyaline.

Such criteria used for subspecific separation are very weak and lack of true statistical basis, and there is some evidences that individuals from Gabon, Namibia and Madagascar may show a dark patch at the base of forewings and a dark area in hindwings reaching or not the nodus (i.e. <>, Pinhey 1962, Suhling and Martens 2007). That suggests a stronger intraspecific variability than initially expected. 

Therefore, most researchers do not retain this subspecific splitting, which is unlikely in such nomadic species, and further genetic study throughout this species range is needed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-11-11
Assessor(s): Boudot, J.-P., Clausnitzer, V., Samraoui, B., Suhling, F., Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & Schneider, W.
Reviewer(s): Kipping, J. & Meziere, N.M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Alomari, K.
This is a widespread species with no known major threats and is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a threatened category. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern, although local threats and declines may occur.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Rhyothemis semihyalina is a palaeo-tropical species, widespread in Africa, Middle East, southern Asia and Indian Ocean Islands. In Africa it ranges from southern Africa, including Madagascar, to the Sahel, where its northern limit runs from Senegal to Ethiopia and Somalia. Disjunct localities were known in northeast Algeria (extinct), Israel (extinct), Socotra (extinct) and Dhofar in south Oman where this species still exists (Waterston 1980, Schneider and Dumont 1997, van der Weide and Kalkmann 2008, Reimer 2009).

Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola, Cabinda); Azerbaijan; Benin; Botswana; Cameroon; Chad; Comoros; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Ghana; Guinea-Bissau; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Kenya; Liberia; Madagascar; Malawi; Mauritius (Mauritius (main island)); Mayotte; Mozambique; Namibia (Caprivi Strip, Namibia (main part)); Nigeria; Oman; Réunion; Rwanda; Senegal; Seychelles (Aldabra, Seychelles (main island group)); Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa (Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, North-West Province, Western Cape); South Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia); Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Regionally extinct:
Algeria; Israel; Yemen (Socotra)
Additional data:
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:Unknown
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is rather common but the population size and trend are unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species favours marshes, grassy shallow pools and ponds, and slow-flowing waters with helophytes and submerged hydrophytes.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Movement patterns:Nomadic

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilised.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is a widespread species which is not under threat at the global scale. Drainage and destruction of swampy habitats caused by agriculture, and water pollution, are local threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation action is needed at the global scale but the population size and trend should be better understood. The former taxonomic splitting should be re-evaluated by means of modern genetic studies.

Citation: Boudot, J.-P., Clausnitzer, V., Samraoui, B., Suhling, F., Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & Schneider, W. 2016. Rhyothemis semihyalina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T60037A83869229. . Downloaded on 16 July 2018.
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