Sympetrum dilatatum (Calvert, 1893)
St. Helena darter, St. Helena dragonfly
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Synonym/s: Diplax dilatata Calvert, 1893 (original combination)
Last record: October 1963
IUCN RedList status: Data Deficient
The last record of this species was a female caught at Green Hill in October of 1963 (Pinhey, 1964; but see Martens & Suhling, 2011). Entolomogical surveys on St. Helena apparently have not been concerned with locating any Sympetrum dilatatum. Hence, although this species has not been seen for almost 50 years, this is not necessarily indicative of its extinction (Martens & Suhling, 2011). Further surveys are urgently needed to ascertain its current status and implement conservation measures if necessary.
A last recorded date of 1977 has been proposed, some 14 years after the last generally accepted date (Thieme et al. 2005:20). However, what the source was for this claim is unknown and hence is best treated as unconfirmed until evidence of this record can be presented.
The type series consisted of four males and one female (Calvert, 1892; Martens & Suhling, 2011).
Original scientific description:
Calvert, P. P. (1893 "1894"). Preliminary notes on some African Odonata. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 19: 161-164.
America, S. (1999). 15: St Helena. Biodiversity: the UK Overseas Territories, 101.
Martens, A. & Suhling, F. (2011). Sympetrum dilatatum. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. (https://www.iucnredlist.org). Downloaded on 29 July 2012.
Pinhey, E. C.G . (1964). The St. Helena dragonfly (Odonata, Libellulidae). Arnoldia 1(2): 1-3.
Thieme, Michele L. et al. (2005). Freshwater Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: A Conservation Assessment. Washington, USA: Island Press.