Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Sympecma fusca is common in large parts of Europe extending to central Asia. It is currently expanding rapidly on the northern edge of its range, although populations appear to be scarce and fluctuating.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Sympecma fusca inhabits all kinds of well-vegetated standing waters, especially where there are floating dead reeds or rushes.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sympecma fusca

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Sympecma fusca

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Clausnitzer, V.

Reviewer/s
Kalkman, V. & Suhling. F. (Odonata Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Sympecma fusca is common in its large range and has expanded northwards in parts of Europe therefore is assessed as Least Concern, despite the range extension that is experiencing population fluctuations. Continued research into numbers and trends are needed, so to are investigations of habitat threats to better understand the status of this species.
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Population

Population
Exact numbers are unknown, but it is common in its range, and expanding northwards although numbers are thought to be sparse and prone to fluctuations there.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Habitat destruction caused by ongoing agricultural actions and the associated water pollution is having a direct effect on the quality of the habitat of this species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Research into population numbers and trends of Sympecma fusca are underway although more extensive studies are needed, so to are conservation measures to prevent habitat loss as none are in place at present.
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Wikipedia

Sympecma fusca

The Common Winter Damselfly, Sympecma fusca, is a damselfly that is found in much of central and southern Europe. It does not have the bright blue or red colouration that is more usual for damselflies so it is often overlooked. It is one of only two species of European dragonflies that overwinter as adult insects, the other being the related S. paedisca. It is a member of the Lestidae and related to the emeralds or spreadwings.

Contents

Description

Pterostigma from both wings can be seen

Although related to the Lestes 'spreadwing' damselflies, Sympecma rest with their wings alongside their bodies and do not have the metallic emerald green sheen that is characteristic of the Lestes. Sympecma have pale brown pterostigma on both forewing and hindwing and the pterostigma are nearer the wing tip on the forewing which means that both pterostigma can be seen — they do not overlap as in other damselflies. In the field this is easily seen and distinguishes Sympecma from all other damselflies. S. fusca is a nondescript damselfly that blends in with the dried grass stalks in which it overwinters but it is distinct from all other European damselflies except S. paedisca, so in most of its range there are no problems with identification. Where both S. fusca and S. paedisca fly together careful examination of the adult, in the hand, preferably under magnification, is required to tell the two species apart. In the male the anal appendages are slightly different and there are subtle differences in the markings on the thorax in both sexes.

Behaviour

This species is found all year round as it overwinter as an adult. In spring they mates and with the pairs still in tandem, the females oviposit in floating vegetation. Most reproductive behaviour occurs in April and May. The eggs hatch and the larvae develop rapidly in about 2 months. When the adults emerge they move away from water, often to heath or grassland a long distance from water, where they overwinter hidden amongst dried plant stems.

Habitat and distribution

It is found much of central Europe stretching out to Asia where it is replaced by S. paedisca. It is found around the Mediterranean in Europe and North Africa and on many Mediterranean islands. It can be found in all types of standing water. In winter adults are found away from water on dry plant stems usually in open areas such as grassland and heaths. It was recorded for the first time in Britain in 2008.[1]

See also

References

  • Askew, R.R. (2004) The Dragonflies of Europe. (revised ed.) Harley Books. pp65–66ISBN 0946589755
  • d'Aguilar, J., Dommanget, JL., and Prechac, R. (1986) A field guide to the Dragonflies of Britain, Europe and North Africa. Collins. ISBN 0-00-219436-8
  • Gibbons, R.B., (1986). Dragonflies and Damselflies of Britain and Northern Europe. Country Life Books. ISBN 0-600-35841-0.
  • Dijkstra, K-D.B & Lewington, R. (2006) Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. British Wildlife Publishing. ISBN 0-9531399-4-8.

Notes

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