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Title: An overview of the dragonflies and damselflies of the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean) (Odonata)
Authors: Degabriele, Godwin
Keywords: Insects -- Malta
Odonata -- Malta
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Entomological Society of Malta
Citation: Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Malta. 2013, Vol.6, p. 5-127
Abstract: Seventeen species of odonates have been recorded on the Maltese Islands of which Pantala flavescens represents a new record. Diagnostic features of the adult and larval stages of these species are described in this work. The work also combines findings from previous literature on Maltese Odonata with information gathered from fieldwork data in order to give an insight on the current situation of the Odonata of the Maltese Islands and serves as an identification guide to both adults and larvae of these insects. The anatomy and physiology of the larval and adult forms of these insects, which are discussed in this work, are adapted to the predatory lifestyle which they lead. The fact that odonate larvae frequent different habitats from adults helps to reduce competition for resources. Adult odonates can be found in a number of local habitats; mostly near freshwater but also brackish water bodies since freshwater is a scarce natural resource on the Maltese Islands. Global warming is affecting the distribution range of odonates in the Mediterranean - while some species may be on the decline, others which can thrive in hot dry environments are progressively being recorded in the Mediterranean and southern Europe, including the Maltese Islands. Relatively little work on the Odonata of the Maltese Islands has been done previous to the present work. Most of this involves listing of locally recorded species; very little research investigates odonate behaviour and distribution. No information exists as to why species such as Sympetrum striolatum, and Orthetrum cancellatum have become progressively uncommon in recent years, and therefore more research is required on the matter. Because of limiting water resources, freshwater habitats on the Maltese Islands are quickly drained of water, which may be used for agricultural purposes. This may tend to reduce species richness of local odonates. Biologists are now considering dragonflies as biological indicators of a healthy environment and make recommendations in order to preserve the habitats frequented by these insects.
ISSN: 2070-4526
Appears in Collections:BulESM, 2013, Volume 6
BulESM, 2013, Volume 6
Scholarly Works - JCBio

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