New records of damselfly Lestes thoracicus Laidlaw, 1920 (Odonata: Zygoptera: Lestidae) from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh states, central India


S.S. Talmale 1 & Ashish D. Tiple 2


1 Zoological Survey of India, Central Zone Regional Centre, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh 482002, India

2 Department of Zoology, Vidyabharti College, Seloo, Wardha, Maharashtra 442104, India

1 (corresponding author), 2



doi: | ZooBank:


Editor: Albert G. Orr, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia.         Date of publication: 26 January 2013 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # o3264 | Received 22 July 2012 | Final received 02 October 2012 | Finally accepted 29 December 2012


Citation: Talmale, S.S. & A.D. Tiple (2013). New records of damselfly Lestes thoracicus Laidlaw, 1920 (Odonata: Zygoptera: Lestidae) from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh states, central India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(1): 3552–3555; doi:10.11609/JoTT.o3264.947


Copyright: © Talmale & Tiple 2013. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: No funding from other sources.


Competing Interest: None.


Acknowledgements: The author (SST) is grateful to Dr. K. Venkatraman, Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata and Dr. S. Sambath, Scientist-C & Officer-in-Charge, ZSI, CZRC, Jabalpur for the facilities and encouragement. Authors also thankful to Shri. Sachin Patil, Sr. Zoological Assistant and Shri. M.E. Limje, Photographer, ZSI, CZRC, Jabalpur, for assisting in technical support during photography using Leica microscope. Thanks are due to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Bhopal for permission to collect and survey the areas.




For images -- click here



Members of the order Odonata (damselflies and dragonflies), spend the major part of their life cycle in fresh water ecosystems such as rivers, streams, marshes, lakes, small pools and rice fields.  Both adults and larvae are voracious predators.  The larval stages pass their life in an aquatic environment.  Odonates are also good indicators of environmental change as they are sensitive to and directly affected by changes in the aquatic and bordering terrestrial habitats, atmospheric temperature and weather conditions.

There are about 463 species of odonates occurring in India (Subramanian 2009).  Madhya Pradesh harbours 76 species (Tiple et al. 2012) and Kulkarni et al. (2012) recorded 101 species of Odonata from Maharashtra.

A number of workers have studied odonates, especially damselflies, from the central Indian region of Maharashtra (Vidarbha region).  Since Fraser (1933), these include: Andrew & Tembhare (1997) who reported 43 species from the local water bodies of Nagpur City; Kulkarni & Prasad (2005; Melghat Tiger Reserve, Amravati); Talmale & Kulkarni (2003; Bhandara); Kulkarni et al. (2004; Pench National Park, Nagpur); Kulkarni et al. (2006; Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Chandrapur); Kulkarni & Talmale (2008; Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary, Buldana); Tiple et al. (2008) who recorded a total of 62 species of odonates with 18 new records from Nagpur City; Babu et al. (2009; Nagpur) and also a comprehensive account of Maharashtra fauna by Kulkarni et al. (2012).  Mishra (2007) studied the odonates of Madhya Pradesh and reported a total of 70 species belonging to 40 genera and nine families distributed in different localities.  Further, odonates from Madhya Pradesh are documented from Pench National Park and Satpura National Park (Ramakrishna et al. 2006), Kanha National Park (Raju & Narayanan 2008), Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (Mishra 2009), Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve (Prasad & Mishra 2009), Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary (Talmale 2011), as well as 49 species of odonates with six new records for Madhya Pradesh from the Tropical Forest Research Institute Campus, Jabalpur (Tiple et al. 2012).  Tiple (2012) recorded 70 species of odonates Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, India. 

Lestes thoracicus Laidlaw was reported from Bihar, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal (Sharma 2010).  The present report of Lestes thoracicus Laidlaw, 1920 (Images 1a,b) adds an additional records from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.


Materials and Methods

Material examined: 05.xii.2010, two males and one female from Sukad River, Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary, District Raisen, Madhya Pradesh (23014.68ÕN & 78011.01ÕE) (ZSI,CZRC A/16755); 09.xii.2010, one male and one female from Bhagdehi, Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary, District Raisen, Madhya Pradesh (23006.59ÕN & 78015.22ÕE) (ZSI,CZRC A/16756); 20.vii.2011, one male from Danital Lake, Rani Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary, District Damoh, Madhya Pradesh (23032.86ÕN & 79043.70ÕE) (ZSI,CZRC, A/16757); 03.vii.2010, one male and one female were collected from Futala Lake Nagpur, Maharashtra (2009ÕN & 7909ÕE) (ZSI, CZRC, A/16987).

Materials studied were collected from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra (Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary, District Raisen and Rani Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary, District Damoh, Vidarbha region). The surveys were undertaken from 2010 to 2011 during the monsoon and post monsoon periods (July 2010, December 2010, July 2011).  GPS (Garmin) was used for locality records.  The specimens were identified with the help of identification keys provided by Laidlaw (1920) and Fraser (1933).  The photographs were taken with Digital cameras (Canon 450D, Nikon-D70) using a Leica M205A Stereozoom Microscope (for male anal appendages).


Results and Discussion

Lestes thoracicus Laidlaw (Image 1) morphologically resembles Lestes umbrinus Selys from which, according to Fraser (1933), it may be distinguished by the matt black vertex of the head (Image 3) (pale brown in umbrinus) and superior anal appendages finely denticulate along their inner border (Image 4) (smooth in umbrinus).  Other diagnostic characters of L. thoracicus are: Male: Thorax pale olive-green, mid-dorsal carina finely black.  Legs yellow, striped in their length with black on the outer side; tarsi black.   Wings hyaline; 10 to 11 postnodal nervures to both fore- and hind-wings (9–12 in males, present collection).  Pterostigma pale brown, framed in blackish nervures and with outer distal end pale; braced, covering 1 to 2 cells (Mostly covering two cells in present collection) (Image 2).

The abdomen is black on the dorsum, pale azure blue at the sides, the dorsal black is expanded subapically on segments 2–7, completely ringing the latter segment; anal appendages (Image 4) creamy white tipped with black; superiors one and a half times the length of segment 10, forcipate, apices rounded at the ends, curling in to meet each other, coarsely spined along the outer border, furnished at the junction of basal and middle thirds with a robust inner spine which is followed by the usual scale like expansion, which occupies rather more than the middle third of the appendage and is fine denticulate along its inner border.  Inferior appendages not quite half the length of superiors, thick at base, ungulate thereafter, rounded and bearing coarse hairs at apex (Image 5).  Abdomen 30–32 mm (31–33 mm in present collection) and hind-wing 20mm (20–21.5 mm in present collection).

Females are similar to the male, head marked with black, prothorax and thorax olivaceous green on dorsum, paler laterally and beneath, without any markings (Image 1).  Wings: 10 to 12 postnodal nervures to forewings and 9–10 in the hind (10–11 in both the wings of present collection).  Pterostigma bordered outwardly (Image 2). Abdomen pale olivaceous, greenish-yellow at the sides.  Anal appendages very short, conical, pointed, creamy white.  Other characters mostly matches with FraserÕs (1933) description. Abdomen: 28–31 mm (30–32 mm in present coll.) and hind-wing: 20–22 mm (20.5–22 mm in present collection).

The present study revealed that morphologically the taxa, Lestes umbrinus and Lestes thoracicus are not very distinct, with similarities in the colour of vertex and thorax in majority of specimens.  They could be differentiated only on the basis of anal appendages.  This indicates a need for further detailed comparative studies of species within genus Lestes and for a revision of key given by Fraser (1933).





Andrew, R.J. & D.B. Tembhare (1997). Collection of Odonata from Nagpur City. Maharashtra State, India. Fraseria (N.S.) 4: 1–4.

Babu, R., C. Sinha & M. Prasad (2009). New records of Odonata (Anisoptera) from Maharashtra. Record of Zoological Survey of India 108(4): 113–117.

Fraser, F.C. (1933). The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma-—Vol. 1 Odonata. Taylor and Francis Ltd., London, 423pp.

Kulkarni, P.P., R. Babu, S.S. Talmale, C. Sinha & S.B. Mondal (2012). Insecta: Odonata. Fauna of Maharashtra. State Fauna Series, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata 20(2): 397–428.

Kulkarni, P.P. & M. Prasad (2005). Insecta: Odonata in Fauna of Melghat Tiger Reserve. Conservation Area Series (Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata) 24: 297–316.

Kulkarni, P.P., M. Prasad & S.S. Talmale (2004). Insecta: Odonata in Fauna of Pench National Park. Conservation Area Series, (Zoological Survey of India) 20: 175–206.

Kulkarni, P.P., M. Prasad & S.S. Talmale (2006). Insecta: Odonata in Fauna of Tadoba - Andhari Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra). Conservation Area Series (Zoological Survey of India) 25: 197–226.

Kulkarni, P.P. & S.S. Talmale (2008). Insecta: Odonata in Fauna of Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary, Dist. Buldhana, Maharashtra. Conservation Area Series (Zoological Survey of India) 37: 159–167

Laidlaw, F.F. (1920). A list of the Dragonflies recorded from the Indian Empire with special reference to the collection of the Indian Museum. Part III—The genus Lestes and its allies. Record of Indian Museum 19(4): 145–164.

Mishra, S.K. (2007). Insecta: Odonata, pp. 245-272. In: Fauna of Madhya Pradesh (including Chhattisgarh). State Fauna Series. 15 (Part-1). (Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata).

Mishra, S.K. (2009). Insecta: Odonata. Fauna of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh). Conservation Area Series (Zoological Survey of India) 40: 25–38.

Prasad, M. & S.K. Mishra (2009). Insecta: Odonata. Fauna of Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Conservation Area Series (Zoological Survey of India) 39: 203–212.

Prasad, M. & R.K. Varshney (1995). A check list of the Odonata of India including data on larval studies. Oriental Insect 29: 385–428.

Raju, D.V. & S.P. Narayanan (2008). Odonata fauna of Kanha National Park area in Central India. Fraseria (N.S.) 7: 5–9.

Ramakrishna, K. Chandra, D.K. Nema, S.C. Ahirwar & J.R.B. Alfred (2006). Faunal resources of national parks of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Conservation Area Series (Zoological Survey of India) 30: 1–123.

Sharma, G. (2010). Lestes thoracicus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 December 2011.

Subramanian, K.A. (2009). A Checklist of Odonata of India. Zoological Survey of India, 36pp.

Talmale, S.S. (2011). A preliminary list of Odonata from the Singhori Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh. Bionotes 13(4): 159–160.

Talmale, S.S. & P.P. Kulkarni (2003). Odonata in the paddy fields of Bhandara District, Maharashtra. Bionotes 5(3): 67.

Tiple, A.D. (2012). Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata: Insecta) of the Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve, in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, with their status in Central India. International Journal of Biotechnology and Bio Sciences 2(1): 97–102.

Tiple, A.D., A.M. Khurad & R.J. Andrew (2008). Species Diversity of Odonata in and Around Nagpur City, Central India. Fraseria 7: 41–45.

Tiple, A.D., S. Paunikar & S.S. Talmale (2012). Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata: Insecta) of Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, Central India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(4): 2529–2533.