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2014-04-03 Megan Loftie-Eaton 
An exciting record for OdonataMAP!!

A very exciting record has been submitted to OdonataMAP!! This beautiful dragonfly is a Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii). Laurenda Van Breda writes: "In the first week of March 2014 a very small dragonfly was found in the Cape Flats Nature Reserve and identified as the Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebrvii), confirmed to be rare in the Western Cape. The few records for this species in the Western Cape range from Citrusdal to East London. No records for the Cape Peninsula have ever been recorded!! And this is the first record of this awesome dragonfly for the Cape Peninsula!"

"The dragonfly experts (Prof. Michael Samways from Stellenbosch University and Prof. Klaas-Douwe B. Dijkstra from Leiden University) have been consulted and the photograph confirmed as this species. Further confirmation was received when a breeding pair of Black Perchers was discovered in the reserve at a different locality on 13 March 2014. Diplacodes lefebrvii has officially been added to the OdonataMAP database as the first record for the Cape Peninsula!!"

Thank you Laurenda for submitting this amazing record to OdonataMAP!! Here is the link to the record: http://vmus.adu.org.za/?vm=OdonataMAP-8954 --- If you have any photos of dragonflies or damselflies please submit them to OdonataMAP at http://vmus.adu.org.za/

 
2014-04-02 René Navarro 
OdonataMAP Batch 8 Identified — records 5371–7546

Paragomphus magnus (Great Hooktail) by Karen & Wil Hartog-Leurs (record 7521)
Paragomphus magnus (Great Hooktail) by Hartog-Leurs, Karen & Wil; 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.”

 
2014-03-03 Megan Loftie-Eaton 
We celebrate 70 000 Virtual Museum records

70000 virtual museum records

We have hit 70000 records submitted to the Virtual Museum projects through the Virtual Museum website at vmus.adu.org.za – it is only two months back that we celebrated 60000! This amazing achievement is all thanks to YOU, the awesome ADU contributors and citizen scientists! We value each and every record and we appreciate your support beyond measure! WELL DONE!!!!

 

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© Animal Demography Unit 2014
Department of Biological Sciences - University of Cape Town

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