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Biology

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Medium-sized dark brown dragonflies with yellowmarkings found in Fynbos or wide open valley grasslands (Samways, 2008) and along fast flwing streams (Tarboton and Tarboton, 2002). Endemic to South Africa
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Conservation Status

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Syncordulia gracilis is considered Vulnerbale by the IUCN; Samways, M.J. 2007. In IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCNRedList.org. Downloaded July 18, 2008.
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Diagnostic Description

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Size: 48 mm; wingspan: 70mm (Tarboton and Tarboton, 2002). Eyes are dark grey in colour, and body is dark brown with two bright yellow stripes that are bordered in black (Samways, 2008). Wing Venation: Syncordulia gracilis has an elongate anal loop with no midrib. It has no crossveins in the forewing triangles or hindwing triangles. Genital Lobe: large. In female ovipostior the first pair of gonaphophyeses are secondarily elongate. Male appendages: long lower anal appendage. Larvae: considered by Theischinger and Watson (1984) to be of the "Oxygastra group" of larvae, i.e., those possessing setae on the palpal teeth, subpentagonal head, narrower pronotum without broad, flat lobes, the frontal plate often small, and lateral spines on at least some tergites (Theischinger and Watson, 1984).
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Distribution

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Western Cape, Eastern Cape and recently found in KwaZuluNatal.
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Evolution

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Oxygastra gracilis (Burmeister, 1839) Until recently, only S. venator and S. gracilis were known, and both are considered Vulnerable by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) (IUCN, 2001). Dijkstra et al., (2007) described two new species, S. serendipator and S. legator, from previously unrecognized museum specimens and from new field collections. Intrageneric relationships within Syncordulia have not yet been fully evaluated within a phylogenetic context. In addition, placement of Syncordulia within the GSI has been unresolved. Lieftinck (1960) suggested that Syncordulia was closely related to Oxygastra Selys, 1870, Hesperocordulia Tillyard, 1911, Lathrocordulia, Tillyard, 1911 or Micromidia, Fraser, 1959, but his study relied mainly on manual parsimony without a formal analysis. Ware et al. (2007) included S. gracilis in their molecular analysis, but its position within the monophyletic GSI assemblage was unstable due to low branch support. Monophyly of the genus itself, although seemingly very likely based on several morphological characters including uniform wing vein patterns and eye color, has not yet been supported by phylogenetic analysis.
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General Description

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Syncordulia gracilis, the Yellow Presba, is an endemic South African dragonfly that is considered Vulnerable by the IUCN. A genus of brown and tawny coloured dragonflies, Syncordulia are sympatric, collected at cool, fast flowing streams.
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Genetics

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Syncordulia has been sequenced by Ware et al., 2007 (D2 region of the 28S), and Ware, Simaika and Samways (in press). It was recovered as sister to Idionyx in Ware et al., 2007. GenBank sequences available for S. gracilis, S. venator, S. serendipator, S. legator; DNA vouchers Rutgers University Collection; Syntype Harvard Museum MCZT_12419; elsewhere.
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Habitat

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Cool, shallow freshwater montane streams and small rivers in South Africa (samways, 2008); sensitive to alien plants such as Australian Acacia, Pine, and Eucalyptis. Some populations have increased following removal of alien pine (Samways, 2007)
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Life Cycle

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Inhabiting mostly cool mountainous streams in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa, Syncordulia species generally occur in geographically-restricted areas and at low population densities. Syncordulia species are sympatric (Dijkstra et al., 2007) and are often found dwelling in the same stream. First described by Selys-Longchamps in 1882, the genus Syncordulia comprises dragonflies endemic to South Africa and restricted almost entirely to the CFR. They rarely fly over water, and are instead normally found in Fynbos (Samways, 2008). Rests often in vegetation.
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Physiology

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Adipokinetic neuropeptides from the corpora cardiaca of the major families of all three suborders of the Odonata were identified and Syncordulia was found to possess Anaim-AKH (Gade and Marco, 2005).
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Reproduction

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Syncordulia oviposit exophytically. Flight season: September-March
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Taxon Biology

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Rutgers University collection, Harvard University Collection
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Syncordulia gracilis

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Syncordulia gracilis, the yellow presba, is a species of dragonfly in the family Corduliidae.

Distribution and status

Endemic species to the south western Western Cape Province, South Africa , with one historic 1948 record from, KwaZulu-Natal Province Drakensberg area, and one record 2000 from Prentjiesberg in Eastern Cape Province. It is rare throughout its range. It is no longer seen at many sites where it once was present, hence its vulnerable Red List status.[1]

Habitat

Its natural habitats are montane streams and rivers flowing over flat rocks, with fynbos or grassy banks localities.[2][3]

Identification

This species is about 43–48 mm long, with a wingspan 60–70 mm. Sexes much alike but has an amber wash on forewing and hindwing. The thorax has two yellow stripes on each side, and the abdomen is yellow and black.[2][3]

References

  1. ^ a b Samways, M.J. (2010). "Syncordulia gracilis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010: e.T63202A12628404. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T63202A12628404.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b Tarboton, W.R.; Tarboton, M. (2015). A guide to dragonflies and damselflies of South Africa. Struik Nature Publishers. ISBN 9781775841845.
  3. ^ a b Samways, Michael J. (2008). Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa. Pensoft Publishers. ISBN 9789546423306.
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Syncordulia gracilis: Brief Summary

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Syncordulia gracilis, the yellow presba, is a species of dragonfly in the family Corduliidae.

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