Libellula jesseana

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA INSECTA ODONATA LIBELLULIDAE

Scientific Name: Libellula jesseana
Species Authority: Williamson, 1922
Common Name(s):
English Purple Skimmer

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2a; B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Paulson, D.R.
Reviewer(s): Clausnitzer, V. & Kalkman, V. (Odonata Red List Authority)
Justification:
This species known range is limited to ten counties in Florida, including parts of the panhandle and the northern peninsula at clear sandy lakes with little aquatic vegetation but with a shoreline belt of tall maidencane (Panicum hemitomon). These habitats are scarce under pristine conditions. Also, many of these lakes are in areas not protected from development, and it has been stated - without adequate documentation, unfortunately - that eutrophication of these lakes will reduce or eliminate populations of L. jesseana (Dunkle 2000). The species has not been found at the majority of the collection sites, despite occasional searches.

Recent information (J.J. Daigle, pers. comm. 2007) indicates the species has disappeared from all of its known former locations in the Florida Panhandle and has not been seen recently at some former locations in the Florida Peninsula. Although no exhaustive surveys have been conducted recently, right now anyone who wants to see the species is directed to a single location, Scheeler Lake in Gold Head Branch State Park, Clay County, as no one knows of other locations for certain. However, even this location may not be suitable in the future as natural succession may make it uninhabitable for this sufficiently specialized species.

Considered Imperilled (G2) by Bick (2003).
History:
2007 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Insufficiently Known (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Insufficiently Known (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has been found in the following areas in Florida in the United States of America:
- Washington County, lake 2.1 mi N Bay County on hwy 77, 1980 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods, University of Texas collection)
- Bay County, 3.5 mi E Crystal Lake, 1992 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Bay County, 0.5 mi E Crystal Lake, 1990 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Bay County, pond on hwy 388, 1975 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Clay County, Gold Head Branch State Park, Sheeler Lake (J. Daigle collection 1986, University of Texas collection 1992, Florida State Collection of Arthropods 1995, D.R. Paulson collection 2004)
- Clay County, Gold Head Branch State Park, Pebble Lake, 1986 (J. Daigle collection, S. Dunkle collection)
- Clay County, Gold Head Branch State Park, 1950, 1951, 1986, 1989 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Putnam County, lake E of S-21 on S-20, 1974 (University of Texas collection), 1979 (Dunkle collection, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Putnam County, Morris Lake (Florida State Collection of Arthropods 1975, University of Texas collection 1976)
- Putnam County, Clear Lake, 1974, 1976 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods, University of Texas collection)
- Putnam County, near Interlachen, 1969 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Putnam County, Minnow Lake, 1969 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Volusia County, Enterprise, 1921 (Williamson 1922)
- Seminole County, no locality, 1939 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Lake County, no locality, 1958 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Orange County, Apopka, Lake Alma, 1976 (J. Daigle collection)
- Orange County, Winter Park, 1935 (D.R. Paulson collection, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Orange County, Windemere, 1939 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Orange County, Maitland, 1935 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
- Palm Beach County, no locality, 1937 (Florida State Collection of Arthropods) (perhaps in error)
Countries:
Native:
United States (Florida)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Even at optimal habitats, populations of L. jesseana seem small and the population trend remains unknown.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is found in clear sandy lakes and ponds with little aquatic vegetation but with a shoreline belt of tall maidencane (Panicum hemitomon) and/or sedges and St. John's Wort (Hypericum).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Eutrophication and other types of water pollution from human settlement at and near lakes, ongoing in much of L. jesseana range in Florida, continue to threaten the habitat. Ground-water depletion because of irrigation could dry up some of the shallower ponds, which is also continuing to happen on the sandy ridges of Florida.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The best-known population of L. jesseana is protected in Gold Head Branch State Park, but most other lakes of historical occurrence are not protected.

Research is urgently needed to determine the present extent of occurrence and area of occupancy. Surveys in appropriate habitats would be quite feasible and perhaps could be conducted during one flight season. Research is also needed on habitat needs of larvae, in comparison with other Libellula, although larvae may be indistinguishable from those of L. auripennis. Should be sought in ecologically similar lakes all over north Florida and in adjacent Georgia and Alabama.

The Palm Beach County record is quite anomalous, as L. jesseana habitat is not typical of that area, and should be confirmed or discredited.

Bibliography [top]

Bick, G.H. 2003. At-risk Odonata of conterminous United States. Bulletin of American Odonatology 7: 41-56.

Dunkle, S.W. 1989. Dragonflies of the Florida Peninsula, Bermuda and the Bahamas. Scientific Publishers, Gainesville, Florida.

Dunkle, S.W. 2000. Dragonflies Through Binoculars. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

IUCN. 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2009.2). Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 3 November 2009).

Needham, J.G., Westfall, M.J., Jr. and May, M.L. 2014. Dragonflies of North America, Third Edition. Scientific Publishers, Gainesville, Florida.

Westfall, M.J., Jr. 1943. Synonymy of Libellula auripennis and Libellula jesseana and the description of a new species (Odonata). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 69: 17-31.

Williamson, E.B. 1922. Libellulas collected in Florida by Jesse H. Williamson, with a description of a new species (Odonata). Entomological News 33: 13-19.


Citation: Paulson, D.R. 2009. Libellula jesseana. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 December 2014.
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