Tuesday, July 12, 2016

[Entomology • 2015] Protosticta ponmudiensis • A New Species of Damselfly (Odonata: Zygoptera: Platystictidae) from Ponmudi Hills in the Western Ghats of India

 Protosticta ponmudiensis 
Kiran, Kalesh & Kunte, 2015

 The genus Protosticta Selys, 1885 has 10 species reported from the Indian region, of which seven are known from the Western Ghats. Here we report a new species, Protosticta ponmudiensis from the Ponmudi Hills, Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala, in the Agasthyamalai region of the southern Western Ghats. The species is distinguished from other Protosticta based on its large size, bright green eyes, the broad dorsal stripe on the base of segment 7, and very distinct anal appendages.

Keywords: Biodiversity hotspots, India, Odonata, Platystictidae, Protosticta, species description, Western Ghats, Zygoptera.

Distinguishing features: The large size, bright green eyes and broad patch on abdominal segment 7 easily distinguishes this species from other sympatric Protosticta (P. gravelyi and P. davenporti) (Table 3). Further, the characteristic shape of the anal appendages distinguishes it from all known
species of Protosticta (Fig. 2). The anal appendages have a construction similar to P. himalaica but differ in the shape of the superior appendage, which is longer than the inferior appendage and curved in P. ponmudiensis, while it is shorter than the inferior appendage and straighter in P. himalaica. The spine on the inferior appendage of P. himalaica is directed straight and medially, while in P. ponmudiensis it is curved inwards medially and directed posteriorly. The prothorax of P. ponmudiensis has two pairs of spines on its posterior lobe (medial and lateral pair), both pairs are of equal length in contrast to long medial spines in P. antelopoides.

Etymology: Named after the type locality (Ponmudi), a hill station near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, where the species was discovered.

Distribution and ecology: Known so far only from the type locality in southern Western Ghats of Kerala. The type specimens were found perched on vegetation overhanging small streams in evergreen forest patches among tea estates in the type locality. They were always found near slow-flowing hill-streams and brooks. This species shares the habitat with other Protosticta (P. gravelyi and P. davenporti), and with other odonates (Caconeura spp., Euphea fraserii, Idionyx saffronata and Heliogomphus promelas).

C.G. Kiran, S. Kalesh and Krushnamegh Kunte. 2015. A New Species of Damselfly, Protosticta ponmudiensis (Odonata: Zygoptera: Platystictidae) from Ponmudi Hills in the Western Ghats of India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 7(5): 7146–7151. DOI: 10.11609/JoTT.o4145.7146-51  
New Endemic Species of Damselfly Discovered in Ponmudi http://bit.ly/1E8n9kl via @NewIndianXpress