Preliminary notice on Lestes virens in the eastern Mediterranean, in the Near East and in central Asia
Reinhard Jödicke & Laszlo Börzsöny

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Lestes virens is one of the small handful of Palearctic dragonfly species which are divided into different subspecies. In Europe, two subspecies are broadly accepted: L. virens virens (Charpentier, 1825) and L. v. vestalis Rambur, 1842. Both can be well separated by the extension of dark thoracal markings: humeral stripe, mesinfraepisternum, metepisternam with the 2nd lateral suture, and the lateral lobes of the prothorax.

A third subspecies has been described from eastern Kazakhstan: L. virens marikovskii Belyshev, 1961. This taxon is said to be smaller, but it was hitherto not open to interpretation because it is not present in European collections.

Lestes virens from southern Balkans, Turkey, and the Levanteor conform neither with ssp. virens nor with ssp. vestalis. It has been suggested that they represent another subspecies. Meanwhile I succeeded in identifying the original type series of marikovskii in the Novosibirsk collection. There are good arguments to combine all populations of the Near East and central Asia under the taxon name L. virens marikovskii. On the other hand, more material from these regions would be welcome to confirm this taxonomical decision. Please contact the first author for personal discussion and exchange of material.

 See the material in the Novosibirsk collection .

Female Lestes virens photographed in Western Turkey:
Selcuk 19 April 1979
salt march at the coast near Efese (situated 75 km south of Izmir)



Photo: Marcel Wasscher

Lestes virens female

Further reading:

BELYSHEV, B.F. (1961): Notes on the fauna of Odonata of eastern Kazakhstan. Fragm. faun. 9(4): 27-42, 1 Pl.
JÖDICKE, R. (1997): Die Binsenjungfern und Winterlibellen Europas. Lestidae. Die Neue Brehm-Bücherei 631. Westarp, Magdeburg, 277 pp.
SCHMIDT, E. (1939): Odonaten aus Syrien und Palästina. SBer. Akad. Wiss. Wien, math.-nat. Kl. I, 147 (5/10) [1938]: 135-150

Reinhard Jödicke in co-operation with: Laszlo Börzsöny
corresponding address: