Onychogomphus costae


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Onychogomphus costae
Species Authority: Selys, 1885
Common Name(s):
English Faded Pincertail, Faded Princertail
French Gomphe de Coste
Taxonomic Notes: Three autumnal records of "Paragomphus costae Selys" from the central Sahara (Reymond 1952) should be regarded as Paragomphus genei rather than O. costae, as the latter does not fly in October.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-03-03
Assessor(s): Boudot, J.-P.
Reviewer(s): Samraoui, B. (Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment workshop) & Pollock, C.M. (IUCN Red List Unit)
Onychogomphus costae is an Ibero-Maghrebian species. In northern Africa, it has been recorded in the Maghreb from 51 streams over an area of 548,000 km² and 17 streams over 193,000 km² in Spain and Portugal. Records from the central Sahara and one record from southern Tunisia are most likely Paragomphus genei. Flourishing populations are now scarce in Spain (at most two from a total of 10 recent records), Portugal (one), northern Morocco (at most two from a total of 16 recent records), and northern Tunisia (at most one from a total of 11 recent records). Many other populations have either declined or are only incidental records, or are already extinct due to pollution, excessive water use, lowering of groundwater tables and subsequent drying up of rivers. Recent records in Algeria concern only two streams and the species is presently very rare.

There is now little or no genetic exchange between the Iberian, Moroccan and Tunisian populations. A decline approaching 30% is likely within the next 10 years, due to increased summer droughts in North Africa and the demographic expansion in the Maghreb [x 2.7 between 1961 and 2003 (FAOSTAT 2004-2005)], leading to increased water demand and increased pollution. It is assessed as Near Threatened in the Mediterranean region, but it should be noted that it is more at risk in Spain because of higher fragmentation and habitat degradation.
2006 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Onychogomphus costae occurs in the Maghreb region and the southeastern half of the Iberian Peninsula.
Algeria; Morocco; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Spain (Spain (mainland)); Tunisia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is not rare in some localities, but is extinct in others.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Running waters, even naturally salted up to 4 g of sodium chloride (NaCl) and calcium sulphate (CaSO4).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Use of water by humans (drainage, over-irrigation, pollution, etc.), overgrazing, and drought.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Perennial management of running waters; control of pollution.

Citation: Boudot, J.-P. 2010. Onychogomphus costae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 September 2015.
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