Exact reference: Kosterin, O. E. 2007. A first record of Anax in the West Siberian Plain: A. parthenope Selys, 1939 in Omsk. Notulae odonatologicae 6 (10): 112-115.





Institute of Cytology & Genetics SB RAS, Lavrentiev ave. 10, Novosibirsk, 630090 RUSSIA

e-mail: kosterin@bionet.nsc.ru


Abstract – A freshly emerged female of Anax parthenope parthenope Selys, 1839 was collected in the city of Omsk (55o57’ N 73o22’ E) on June 8, 2007 at an Irtysh River oxbow influenced by sinks of a deep ground mineral water. This is the northernmost record of this species in Siberia and a first record in the West Siberian Plain. Perhaps presently the species is colonising Siberia from the south. At that locality, Cordulia aenea (Linnaeus, 1759) has been also recorded which was previously reported for Omsk by LAVROV (1927) but not found in 70-80s by KOSTERIN (1992).


In his famous monograph ‘Dragonflies of Siberia’, BELYSHEV (1973) reported the only record Anax parthenope Selys, 1839 in Siberia, in its narrow sense without the Far Eastern regions, which was his own visual observation of this species at Lake Gusinoe in Buryatia, Trasnabaikalia. Later reports of this species for Siberia started to accumulate: BELYSHEV & BELYSHEV (1976) reported a young female collected by A. M. Maloletko as emerged from Lake Aya in North Altai on July 8, 1971, DRONZIKOVA (2000) found the species in 1994 and 1997 within the city of  Novokuznetsk and in 1998 at the town of Tashtagol, Kemerovo Province, KOSTERIN (2004) reliably reported the species for Transbaikalia: Lake Nizhnii Mukei at the Mongolian border in Onon District of Chita Province (found in 1995) and the Alkhanai Mt. in the Aginskii Buryat National Region (found in 1996). There exist several findings of the species in Tyva Republic (‘Tuva’ in the traditional Russian spelling) in southern Central Siberia: a female collected in 1970 by I. B. Knor at Lake Ubsu-Nur and a number of specimens observed and collected in the Central Tuvinian Hollow at Lake Khadyn, in Kyzyl and at the Khayyrakaan Mt. in 2004 by O. E. Kosterin (unpublished). The Transbaikalian records concern A. parthenope julius Brauer, 1865, the Central and West Siberian records concern the nominotypical subspecies. All these records were made in the low mountains or intermontane hollows of South Siberia. At the borders of Siberia, the species is recorded in the Ural Mts. from several points between Magnitogorsk and  at Sverdlovsk (presently Ekaterinburg), that is within 53o22’ – 56o51’N (BELYSHEV, 1973; YANYBAEVA et al., 2006) and in E Kazakhstan at Lake Zaisan (BELYSHEV, 1973). Here I report a first record of this species in the centre of the West Siberian Plain, in Omsk. Besides, herewith I made a recent record in Omsk of Cordulia aenea (Linnaeus, 1759), the species reported for Omsk by LAVROV (1927) but did not found by me in 70-80s.



A young female of A. parthenope parthenope ( Fig. 1 [the figure is not published in the journal])) was recorded on June 8, 2007 on the territory of the 30th Anniversary of Victory Park within the city of Omsk. The site is situated at 55o57’ N 73o22’ E, 77 m above sea level. This park occupies a large and just slightly disturbed portion of the Irtysh River left floodplain (presently not inundated). On this plain, within 150-600 m from the left Irtysh arm (400 m at the collecting point), there stretches an 1.3 km long section of a former oxbow called Zamaraika which is now fragmented and impounded by the road embankment. Further in the text the name Zamaraika will be conventionally used for the very oxbow section where the discussed record was made. It is 20-30 m wide, has a slightly brackish and somewhat turbid water but, according to fishemen requested at its bank, is inhabited by fish: Carassius carassius (Linnaeus) and Rutilus rutilus lacustris (Pallas) (loc. ‘chebak’). Both banks are overgrown with a stripe of reed, in water some Potamogeton species with filiform leaves grows (Fig. 2 [the figure is not published in the journal]). At the southern end of Zamaraika there is a local ‘Mechta’ spa which utilises a hot (38-39oC) highly mineral (of a chloride-bromide-potassium type) ground water obtained from a 1.5 km deep bore-well. This water sinks into Zamaraika, which does not freeze in winter for several dozens of metres around the pipe. However, the dragonfly was encountered about 700 m north along Zamaraika, where the sink may influence salinity but hardly temperature. Between the spa and the record site there is a brook, in most probably an artificial ravine, being an outflux of Zamaraika into the Irtysh.

June 8 was a first relatively warm (about +17oC) and sunny, although windy, day after a three week long period of cold and rainy weather which delayed general phenology (although in April and early May it went quite ahead of schedule). The female, still dull coloured and with glistering wings, was startled, at about 6 p. m., from the grass at about just at the bank, flew several metres and sat, then again was startled and flew several metres and sat onto grass, where was photographed (Fig. 1) and collected. Its young status left no doubt it had emerged from the very oxbow. The specimen is presently kept in the author’s collection.

Noteworthy that on July 8, 2006, for about 15 minutes I observed a fulvous-yellow aeshnid, of the size and habitus fit to A. parthenope, patrolling a crossroads in the centre of Omsk at 3-5 m above the ground (and traffic).

Simultaneously with the discussed female A. parthenope, there occurred the following odonates at the Zamaraika banks: scarce Libellula quadrimaculata Linnaeus, 1758, in reed and, in grass, immense young and teneral Ishnura elegans (van der Linden, 1823), moderately abundant mature Sympecma paedisca (Brauer, 1877), and scarce individuals of Coenagrion lunulatum (Charpentier, 1840), C. armatum (Charpentier, 1840), C. pulchellum (van der Linden, 1825) (one young male), Enallagma cyathigerum risi Schmidt, 1861 and Erythromma najas najas (Hansemann, 1823). At the wood edges nearby there occurred scarce mature Leucorrinia rubicunda (Linnaeus, 1758) and abundant young Orthetrum cancellatum orientale Belyshev, 1958. Other odonates recorded on Zamaraika phenologically later in the season in previous years were as follows: few Lestes dryas Kirby, 1890, Lestes barbara (Fabricius, 1798), Lestes macrostigma Eversmann, 1836, Aeshna affinis Latreille, 1805, Aeshna viridis Eversmann, 1836, Sympetrum sanguineum (Müller, 1764) and many Lestes sponsa (Hansemann, 1823), Aeshna serrata Hagen, 1856, Aeshna mixta Latreille, 1805, Aeshna grandis (Linnaeus, 1758), Somatochlora metallica (van der Linden, 1825), Sympetrum flaveolum (Linnaeus, 1758), Sympetrum vulgatum (Linnaeus, 1758), Sympetrum danae (Sulzer, 1776) (KOSTERIN, 1996).

Another interesting finding was made two days later, on June 10, 2007. Among bushes about 50 m from Zamaraika I encountered a sitting female of Cordulia aenea aenea (Linnaeus, 1758), while the male of the same species was observed patrolling a sunny gap between tree groves between Zamaraika and the Irtysh. Both specimens have been collected and kept with me.




With this record, Omsk becomes the northernmost known locality of A. parthenope in Siberia. It worth to note that it was not recorded in two localities situated  in the West Siberian Plain more southerly, in the steppen zone, and thoroughly investigated in odonatological respect: (i) at the biological station at Karasuk, southern Novosibirsk Province (about 53o30’ N), extensively monitored in 70s by V. V. Zaika and 90-00s by S. N. Borisov, and (ii) at Nezhinka village in Kokchetav Province, North Kazakhstan (about 52o45’ N), prolongedly investigated in in 1982-1983 by A. Y. Haritonov, G. S. Sukacheva and me.

Zamaraika used to be repeatedly (several times an year) visited by me from early 70s until now. A checklist of odonates of the city of Omsk was published (KOSTERIN, 1992) and since that time I did not succeed to make any additions. It should be noted that in the cited paper ‘Calopteryx sp.’ was printed instead of ‘Calopteryx splendens’ in error. The only interesting finding made after that publication refers just this species, being records of scarce androchromic females in the Irtysh left arm within the same 30th Anniversory of Victory park: one was recorded on August 19, 2005 and three on June 28-30 2006. Of them, three had all wings coloured to tips and one was forma faivrei as having the fore wings gradually lightening to tips. No doubt that (i) A. parthenope did not participate the odonate population of Zamaraika in 70s and 80s and (ii) the discussed female of this species has developed in it. Hence, we faced either a case of temporary breeding of A. parthenope or a sign of a recently established its population. The species is known to have a great dispersal ability and may easily colonise new habitats which became fit for its breeding. The recent Siberian findings of this species (BELYSHEV & BELYSHEV, 1976; DRONZIKOVA, 2000; KOSTERIN; 2004), although some of which may refer to occasional breedings, obviously indicate that A. parthenope is now colonising South Siberia the climate of which may became milder in recent decades due to the notorious Global Warming. It was reconstructed that the northern range limits of 21 of 35 studied species of European and North America butterflies shifted to 35-240 km northwards (PARMESAN et al., 1999). Signs of the Global Warming was also revealed in some recent odonate records in southern Florida (PAULSON, 2001) a similar trend was revealed for the North American Odonata (). In the Omsk closest vicinity, a temporary quite abundant population of a butterfly Zegris eupheme (Esper, [1805]) has been discovered in 2001 (KOSTERIN & PONOMAREV, 2002), that is 500 km north of the previously known records of that species. Noteworthy that this population seems to have already been extinct in the following years, for repeated attempts to find it in this and other localities failed. In the northern Omsk Province, such hitherto not recorded so easterly nemoral butterfly species were recently found: Apatura iris (Linnaeus, 1758), Maniolia jurtina (Linnaeus, 1758) (KNYAZEV & KOSTERIN, 2003) and Argyronome laodice (KOSTERIN et al., in press). Thus, at least among butterflies we have recorded probable cases of recent colonisation of Omsk Province by species preferring milder climates. Noteworthy that the female of A. parthenope was found in Omsk (i) after an exceptionally warm winter 2006/2007 and (ii) on an oxbow with some influx of hot deep-ground water.

If the discussed trends proceed, we should expect that A. parthenope will become a permanent dweller of Omsk and findings of other more southern species.

Cordulia aenea has not been found by me in Omsk previously and so was not included into the list in (KOSTERIN, 1976) but was expected. In early XX century, LAVROV (1927) reported for Omsk C. aenea and Somatochlora metallica, noting that C. aenea is more rare. I may now confirm it and suppose that it is so much inferior in abundance to the habitually similar S. metallica that was overlooked. Now I managed to find the phenologically earlier C. aenea before the emergency of S. metallica.


References – BELYSHEV, B. F., 1973, Dragonflies of Siberia, Nauka, Novosibirsk (in Russian); - KNYAZEV, S. A. & O. E. KOSTERIN, 2003, Euroasian Entomological Journal 2: 193-194; - BELYSHEV, B. F. & N. B. BELYSHEV, 1976, Voprosy entomologii Sibiri, Tomsk 9: 151 (in Russian); - DRONZIKOVA, M. V. 2000. Strekozy basseina reki Tom’ (fauna i raspredelenie, ekologicheskie i etologicheskie osobennosti vidov). Dissertation for acquisition of a scientific degree of Candidate of Biological Sience, Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals, Novosibirsk (a manuscript in Russian); KOSTERIN, O. E. 1996, Acta Hydroentomologica Latvica 3: 10-21; - KOSTERIN, O. E., 2004, Odonatologica 33: 41-73; KOSTERIN, O. E., S. A. KNYAZEV, A. A. POTEIKO, K. B. PONOMAREV, T. F. KOSHELEVA, TEPLOUKHOV, Euroasian Entomological Journa , in press (in Russian); - KOSTERIN, O. E. & K. B. PONOMAREV, 2002, Euroasian Entomological Journal 1: 111-114; - LAVROV, S. D., 1927, Proceedings of Siberian Institute of Agriculture and Forestry 8 (3): 51-100 (in Russian); - PARMESAN, C. P., N. RYRHOLM, C. STEFANESCU, J. K. HILL, C. D. THOMAS, H. DESCIMON, B. HUNTLEY, L. KAILA, J. KULLBERG, T. TAMMARU, W. J. TENNENT, J. A. THOMAS, M. WARREN, 1999, Nature 399: 579-583; - PAULSON, D. R., 2001, Pantala. International Journal of Odonatology 4: 57-69; - YANYBAEVA, V. A., H. J. DUMONT, A. Yu. HARITONOV, O. N. POPOVA, 2006, Odonatologica 35: 167-185.


Figure legends


Fig. 1. A young female Anax parthenope parthenope in natural conditions before capture, as it is found at Zamaraika oxbow in Omsk.


Fig. 2. A general view on the section of Zamaraika oxbow at the point where the female A. parthenope has been collected.

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