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[Fwd: Re: [Odonata-l] New species]

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  • Kathy &/or Dave Biggs
    Wow! A new species, right under our noses! Kathy ... Subject: Re: [Odonata-l] New species Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 09:24:34 -0500 From: John Abbott
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2011
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    Wow! A new species, right under our noses!

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject:Re: [Odonata-l] New species
    Date:Tue, 29 Mar 2011 09:24:34 -0500
    From:John Abbott <jcabbott@...>
    To:Marion Dobbs <spreadwing@...>
    CC:Odonata List Server <odonata-l@...>, SE odonata <se-odonata@egroups.com>

    What is interesting beyond the fact that it remained undiscovered for so long, is how it was discovered. I may write an article about this sometime as I suspect this won't the last time this kind of thing happens, but I believe it is the first for odonates at least in North America.

    The short of it is, photos of this species were submitted to OdonataCentral by Rick Nirschl, Gary Spicer, and Troy & Terry Hibbitts independently from three different localities over the course of 12 months (2 seasons). Rick's and Gary's photos were of males and were  incorrectly confirmed by both myself and Dennis Paulson as Cordulegaster maculata. It was only when Troy and Terry Hibbitts photographed a female and then pointed out the differences between it and maculata that it became obvious this was a new bug. Looking at them now, they are quite distinctive from maculata. The combination of skilled, careful amateur observers and an integrative digital repository for such observations like OdonataCentral worked together in what I believe is an unprecedented way in the North American Odonata community. Who knows what other discoveries may be waiting out there.


    On Mar 29, 2011, at 9:05 AM, Marion Dobbs wrote:

    For those of you who don't already know, John Abbott has described a new spiketail species. Here is the blurb from his Facebook page:

    "I just described a new species of dragonfly in the genus Cordulegaster. The common name for this family of dragonflies is Spiketails because the females typically have long ovipositors making it look like they have a spiked tail. The formal description of the species should be in print in a couple of months, but here are some pictures. It seems to have a strong association with Pitcher Plant bogs and is now known in five counties in Texas and just over the border in western Louisiana. I will be describing the larva soon. This species probably remained undiscovered because of its very early flight season (March-April) and restricted habitat of pitcher plant bogs. I'm hoping to learn more about its natural history this spring."

    He has included some excellent photos as well.

    Let's give John a hand!

    Marion Dobbs
    9 Bridlewood Lane
    Rome GA  30165
    ecurlew AT mac.com

    "There could be whole antiworlds and antipeople made out of antiparticles. However, if you ever meet your antiself, don't shake hands! You would both vanish in a great flash of light."_Stephen Hawking

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    John C. Abbott, Ph.D. 
    Curator of Entomology, Texas Natural Science Center 
    Section of Integrative Biology 
    2907 Lake Austin Blvd.
    The University of Texas at Austin 
    Austin, Texas 78703 USA 
    Lab Phone: (512) 232-1896 
    Fax: (512) 475-6286 

    California Dragonflies	       http://www.sonic.net/dragonfly
    Southwest Dragonflies	       http://southwestdragonflies.net/
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    Kathy and Dave Biggs	       bigsnest@...   707-823-2911
    308 Bloomfield Rd.             Sebastopol, CA  95472 
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