A 1966 Iberian record of Orthetrum trinacria
Orthetrum trinacria (Selys, 1841), the Long Skimer, is a Libellulid which distribution is primarily African, although the type locality of the species is Sicily. In the early 1980s, the species was discovered for the first time in mainland Europe in Iberia and on a number of occasions.
A specimen with a question-mark on its label (“Orthetr[u]m nitidinerve ?”). The following additional information was hand written [English translation].“Larve trouvée le 4 II 66 à l’étang des Mines près de Mertola & morte au Juras à cause du froid (6 ºC dans l’atelier) le 20 III 66, puis conservée dans l’alcool” [Larva found on 04-02-1966 at the mines pond near Mertola and found dead in the Jura on 20-03-1966 due to the low temperatures (6 °C in the workroom), later preserved in alcohol].
CB was able to identify the specimen as Orthetrum trinacria (Figure 2).
The newly discovered record advances the first occurence of the species in Iberia by 14 years (Hartung, 1985). In addition the record is the first for Europe since the species original description and pre-dates the Sardinian record of 1972 by 6 years (Bucciarelli, 1977). Moreover, it confirms the reproduction (intent -if not the success) of O. trinacria in Iberia and in Europe as early as the 1960s. Successful reproduction in Iberia was first documented from Extremadura, at Embalse de El Robledo (García & Benítez-Donoso, 1988) and in Andalusia, at Albufera de Adra (Butler, 1992).
Acknowledgment: to Christophe Dufour, Curator and Director of the Musée d’histoire naturelle de Neuchâtel for facilitating the access to the collection P-A.Robert.