|Paragomphus magnus (Great Hooktail) by Karen & Wil Hartog-Leurs (record 7521)|
Warwick Tarboton's comments on batch 8:
“The Odonata VM continues to grow apace and this eighth batch of 2175 records (up to end-January 2014) brings the total to almost 7500 records, comprising some 11 000 photographs.
Ninety percent of the records (about 6800) are, obviously, from South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, but there are about 700 records from 17 other African countries; most of the latter have not been identified.
This batch adds 10 species to the growing list of South African species so far covered – its now at 133, only 29 short of the 162 total for the country. One of the new ones, Great Hooktail Paragomphus magnus is a first for South Africa (recorded at Letaba camp in KNP by visitors from the Netherlands, Karen & Wil Leurs, in Nov 2012 – see record 7521); they also notched up another rarity, Cora's Pennant, Macrodiplax cora at St Lucia 43 years after it was first-and-last recorded in South Africa (in 1964) by Prof Balinsky (records 7310, 7287); Allison Sharp and Andre Coetzer again found it here in Nov 2013 (record 6529). In addition to these, John Wilkinson added Sickle Spreadwing, Catshead Sprite and Pinhey's Whisp to the tally, Gerard Diedericks added Elegant Malachite and Forest Hawker (Zosteraeschna usambarica) and Chris Willis added Makabusi Sprite; other new species, submitted by several contributors, were Mountain Sprite and the recently split pintail Acisoma inflatum.
There are now about 20 species with well over 100 South African records. Topping them are Red-veined Dropwing (425 records), Broad Scarlet (291), Julia Skimmer (267), Common Spreadwing (210), Navy Dropwing (209), Eastern Black-tailed Skimmer (204), Two-striped Skimmer (204), Nomad (187) and Kersten's Sprite (187). And, as expected, these are all among the most commonly encountered dragonflies and damselflies about.
The number of people contributing to the database has been growing too. Its now at 122, although the vast bulk of the records still come from just a handful of people. Still in the lead is Chris Willis (2088 records, 83 species), followed closely by Alan Manson (1782 records, 95 species), then Gerard Diedericks (631 records, 89 species), Rob Dickinson (425 records), and John Wilkinson (382 records, 84 species). Contributing to the VM for the first time were Allison Sharp (129 records), Karin & Will Leurs (106 records) and Desiré & Greg Darling (100 records) and their records include many interesting species.”