Wednesday, March 22, 2017

[Entomology • 2017] Megalestes gyalsey (Odonata: Synlestidae) • Honouring His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Bhutan

Megalestes gyalsey
Gyeltshen, Kalkman & Orr, 2017

DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4244.4.9 


Megalestes gyalsey spec. nov. is described from a single male from Trongsa District in Bhutan. The species was discovered during field work conducted in 2015 for the Bhutan invertebrate biodiversity project. The species is named in honour of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, the Gyalsey of Bhutan, on the occasion of his first birthday.

Keywords: Odonata, Damselfly, Zygoptera, Bhutan, Himalaya

Differential diagnosis. Megalestes and Sinolestes are the only damselfly genera in mainland Asia with a pterostigma that is at least twice as long as broad, a metallic green colouration and a total length of over 50 mm. The only genus matching the first two characters is Lestes, but the species of that genus are smaller and have R4 and Ir3 originating well proximal of the subnodus (at the subnodus in Megalestes and Sinolestes). Megalestes gyalsey can best separated from all other species of Megalestes and Sinolestes based on its anal appendages: the paraprocts are slightly over half the length of the cerci and have a relatively simple structure with the apical half consisting of a strong apically pointed gently curved finger-like process and lacking small upcurved spines. Figure 4c–f shows the anal appendages of Megalestes major and M. irma, the two other species of the genus known from Bhutan.


Etymology. The specific epithet gyalsey, is a noun in apposition. The species is named in honour of His Royal Highness Crown Prince of Bhutan, The Gyalsey, Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, on the occasion of his first birthday

 Megalestes gyalsey is the eighteenth species of Megalestes. It is currently known only from the type locality in Bhutan but is likely to occur in adjacent areas of India and might be found in the eastern parts of Nepal. Further field work might result in the discovery of more species of Megalestes, especially in parts of China, but new species might yet be found in the Himalayan region as well. There is little information on the habitat and life history of Megalestes gyalsey or any other species of the genus Megalestes and it would be interesting to study the behaviour and seasonality of the species. Although only one location is known for the species, there is no reason to assume that it is threatened, as much probably suitable habitat is present in Bhutan. Nonetheless, it would be desirable to further explore the region in order to locate more populations.

Gyeltshen, T., V. J. Kalkman and Albert G. Orr. 2017. Honouring His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Bhutan: Megalestes gyalsey (Odonata: Synlestidae).
 Zootaxa. 4244(4); 588–594.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4244.4.9