Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Relatively little is known of this damselfly's biology, but much can be inferred from what is known of other Calopteryx species. Larvae of this group generally live amongst the mud, roots, aquatic vegetation and litter debris in streams and rivers, and in hot countries spend one winter here before emergence as an adult damselfly (6). The adult flight period for the glittering demoiselle runs from May to August, and adults must initially undergo a pre-reproductive phase known as the maturation period, which probably lasts about 15 days (2) (6). This is when individuals normally develop their full adult colour (6) (7) Once mature, Calopteryx males generally hold territories around suitable egg-laying sites, which they defend from other males, and actively court females that fly into their territory with elaborate displays. However, at high density, territorial behaviour disappears. As with other Calopteryx species, female glittering demoiselles oviposit in floating vegetation under the supervision of their mate (6).
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Description

This member of the broad-winged damselflies (Calopterygidae spp.) closely resembles the banded demoiselle (C. splendens) and has been regarded at times as a subspecies of the latter (3) Like the banded demoiselle, males have a metallic bluish-green body while females are metallic green (4) (5). Unlike this close relative, however, which possesses a distinctive blackish-blue band across its wings (4), this species has clear, un-pigmented wings (2) (3) (5).
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Distribution

Range Description

Calopteryx exul is a north Maghrebian endemic.
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Range

Known from the mountains of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Fast-flowing mountain streams.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Found in and around fast-flowing mountain streams, brooks and rivers, between 200 and 2000 metres above sea level (1) (2) (5).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Boudot, J.-P.

Reviewer/s
Samraoui, B. (Odonata Red List Authority) & Pollock, C.M. (IUCN Red List Unit)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is confined to an area of about 271,000 km² (extent of occurrence) along the north Maghrebian mountains from Morocco to Tunisia. Some populations have become extinct due to stream drying, which may be due to climatic fluctuations combined with human use for agricultural purposes. In Algeria, many previously known populations are extinct due to heavy stream pollution. The species has recently been rediscovered in Algeria. The whole range is fragmented (known localities are a small area in Tunisia, a recent record in Algeria, and a larger area in Morocco: total area of occupancy (AOO) is around 25 km²). The species may be relatively mobile, but more studies are required to confirm distance travelled by individuals. Based on its restricted AOO, severe fragmentation and continuing declines it is assessed as Endangered under criterion B.

The species currently also meets the thresholds for the Vulnerable category under criteria B and C. Almost all localities exhibit only a low density and many in Morocco and Tunisia have recently declined due to stream pollution and drying during summer, in connection to agricultural practices, irrigation, water harnessing and domestic discharge. The total population is presently less than 10,000 imagoes. A minimum of 30% of the overall localities have been lost by within the last 100 years, and this will certainly continue in the future, owing to demographic expansion in the Maghreb [x2.5 in Morocco, x3.1 in Algeria and x2.3 in Tunisia from 1961 to 2003 (FAO 2004-2005)] and global climatic changes. A decline of at least 10% is expected within the next 10 years.

History
  • 2006
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Vulnerable
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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).
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Population

Population
At least 32 subpopulations are known. Seven of these occur in Algeria, are based on old records, and are most probably extinct. However, new subpopulations were discovered in Algeria in 2007.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Water pollution, drying up of streams due to water extraction for irrigation, overgrazing and drought are major threats to the species.
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The glittering demoiselle is threatened by habitat loss and degradation as a result of water pollution and the drying of streams due to water-harnessing for human use, irrigation, climatic fluctuations and drought. All previously known populations in Algeria are now extinct due to heavy stream pollution, although no recent surveys in new areas have been undertaken. The impact of habitat loss and degradation is expected to continue in the future due to expanding human populations across this species' range, a growing tourism industry in Tunisia and Morocco and global climatic changes (1).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Control of water pollution and reserve establishment through policy-based actions, increasing awareness, and research into population numbers and range, biology and ecology, habitat status, threats, and trends/monitoring would be valuable.
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Conservation

There are currently no known conservation initiatives targeting this species, but there is an urgent need for control of water use, in terms of both quantity and quality (1).
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Wikipedia

Calopteryx exul

The Glittering Demoiselle (Calopteryx exul) is a species of damselfly in the family Calopterygidae. It is found in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Its natural habitat is along rivers. It is threatened by habitat loss, mainly caused by pollution.

This is a large damselfly with a total length of up to 50 mm. Unlike most other Calopteryx damselflies, the wings are unbanded in both sexes although the male has metallic venation which produces a distinctive blue flash on each wing beat when the insect is flying in the sun.

References[edit]

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