<i>Lestes disjunctus</i> and <i>L. forcipatus</i> (Odonata: Lestidae): An evaluation of status and distribution in British Columbia


  • Robert A. Cannings Royal British Columbia Museum 675 Belleville St. Victoria, BC V8W 9W2
  • John P. Simaika #323 - 3969 Shelbourne St. Victoria, BC V8N 6J5


Odonata, Lestes disjunctus, Lestes forcipatus, British Columbia, distribution, habitat preference, plant associations, temporal separation, oviposition


Of the five species of the damselfly genus Lestes that live in British Columbia, Lestes forcipatus Rambur and L. disjunctus Selys are the most difficult to separate morphologically. Females can be readily distinguished by the size of the ovipositor, but males are difficult to separate. In British Columbia, L. disjunctus is more common, widespread and familiar. Before 1998, when it was first reported in BC, specimens of L. forcipatus were misidentified as L. disjunctus because the former is known mainly from eastern North America and most Lestes species are usually most readily identified using male characters. The identities of museum specimens of the two species were checked and corrected by us as necessary. Ecological and behavioural observations and up-dated distribution maps of the species are presented. Throughout its range in BC, L. forcipatus is mostly sympatric with L. disjunctus but lives in a narrower range of habitats and localities - mostly cool sedge marshes and fens. The two species show some temporal and behavioural separation.


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