Cordulegaster sayi - Selys, 1854
Say's Spiketail
Other English Common Names: Say's spiketail
Synonym(s): Zoraena sayi
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cordulegaster sayi Selys, 1854 (TSN 593043)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.108640
Element Code: IIODO03080
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Dragonflies and Damselflies
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Odonata Cordulegastridae Cordulegaster
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Paulson, D.R. and S.W. Dunkle. 1999. A Checklist of North American Odonata. Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound Occasional Paper, 56: 86 pp. Available: http://www.ups.edu/x7015.xml.
Concept Reference Code: A99PAU01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cordulegaster sayi
Taxonomic Comments: Lohmann (1992) placed it in a genus of its own, Archegaster, not commonly accepted by North American odonatists. Also classified in the subgenus (some say genus) Zoraena.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Nov2006
Global Status Last Changed: 21Jan1999
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This species has a very limited range and is threatened by development. Its habitat is more specialized and vulnerable then co-existing gomphids. It also has a specific combination of adjacent habitats that is needed for larvae and adults.The known localities are few and fragmented, and certain populations (Gainesville, Florida) are declining (Abbott, 2007).
Nation: United States
National Status: N2 (01Dec2008)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Florida (S2), Georgia (S1S2)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: VU - Vulnerable

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 250-20,000 square km (about 100-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Florida Panhandle and Peninsula south to Gainesville, north to central Georgia.

Area of Occupancy: 1-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: An estimate.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Known from 20 populations in Florida and southeastern Georgia.

Population Size: 250 - 10,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Probably hundreds of larvae per site, but relatively few mature.

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Pesticides, tree-cutting (leads to run-off). Fields used for feeding often altered for development.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Former large colony in Gainesville, Florida reduced to low density by development.

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Too many people could trample seepages. Adult stage only one month; nymphal stage several years. Nymphs confined to silt; could be scoured by runoff.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow to narrow.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Survey is needed to locate and confirm other probable populations.

Distribution
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Global Range: (250-20,000 square km (about 100-8000 square miles)) Florida Panhandle and Peninsula south to Gainesville, north to central Georgia.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States FL, GA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Alachua (12001), Bay (12005), Bradford (12007), Clay (12019), Columbia (12023)*, Liberty (12077), Santa Rosa (12113), Washington (12133)
GA Atkinson (13003), Camden (13039), Candler (13043), Coffee (13069), Effingham (13103), Emanuel (13107), Evans (13109), Irwin (13155), Johnson (13167), Liberty (13179), Tattnall (13267), Telfair (13271), Thomas (13275)*, Toombs (13279), Wayne (13305)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Lower Savannah (03060109)+, Canoochee (03060203)+, Lower Ocmulgee (03070104)+, Altamaha (03070106)+, Ohoopee (03070107)+, Satilla (03070201)+, Oklawaha (03080102)+, Lower St. Johns (03080103)+, Aucilla (03110103)+*, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+*, Alapaha (03110202)+, Santa Fe (03110206)+, Upper Ochlockonee (03120002)+*, Apalachicola (03130011)+, St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+, Blackwater (03140104)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Dragonfly with yellow rings on black abdomen.
General Description: Adult a medium large dragonfly with gray-green eyes in contact at 1 point, thorax striped with yellow, white and magenta, abdomen with yellow bands. Larvae square-headed with pop-eyes and sharply tapered abdomen. (Needham & Westfall, 1955; color photo in Dunkle, 1989)
Diagnostic Characteristics: Color pattern, female ovipositor reaches just to tip of abdomen. Larva with tuft of long hair between antennae, needs redescription.
Ecology Comments: Habitat is a particular combination of seeps in or near deciduous forest with openings nearby.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Adults forage within a few hundred of m larval habitat.
Riverine Habitat(s): SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Habitat Comments: Eggs and larvae found in silt of seeps, adults forage in weedy fields.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Adults eat many small Hymenoptera.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: Larvae overwinter, life cycle probably several years. According to Bill Muaffrey, the flight season is short and the best time to find them is between March 27 and April 12.
Length: 6.5 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Pond-Breeding Odonates

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens ideally with evidence of on-site breeding (teneral adults, mating pairs, territorial males, ovipositing females, larvae, or exuviae) at a given location with potential breeding habitat. Although oviposition may not necessarily yield progeny that survive to adulthood (Fincke, 1992) and movements resembling oviposition may not necessarily result in egg deposition (Okazawa and Ubukata, 1978; Martens, 1992; 1994), presence of on-site oviposition is here accepted as an indicator of a minimum element occurrence because the time and effort involved in determining success of emergence is beyond the scope of the general survey. As adults of some species might disperse moderate distances (see below), only sites with available larval habitat can be considered appropriate for a minimum occurrence. Single, non-breeding adults captured away from potential suitable breeding habitat should not be treated as element occurrences. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information. A photograph may be accepted as documentation of an element occurrence for adults only (nymphs and subimagos are too difficult to identify in this manner) provided that the photograph shows diagnostic features that clearly delineate the species from other species with similar features. Sight records, though valuable, should not be accepted as the basis for new element occurrences. Instead, such records should be utilized to further study an area to verify the element occurrence in that area.
Separation Barriers: Within catchments there are likely no significant barriers to movement of sexually mature adults between microhabitats, with even extensive sections of inappropriate waterway or major obstructions to flow being readily traversed by adults within the flight season.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 3 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 3 km
Separation Justification: Adults odonates are known to wander, some over great distances (not so for damselflies). Mass migration over great distances is not herein considered when drafting separation distances as such behavior is limited to few species (e.g. Anax junius, Libellula quadrimaculata, other Libellula spp., Sympetrum spp.), occurs unpredictably and infrequently (10 year cycles for L. quadrimaculata), are unidirectional or intergenerational (Freeland et al., 2003), or occurs under unusual circumstances such as irritation by trematode parasites (Dumont and Hinnekint, 1973) or major weather events (Moskowitz et al., 2001; Russell et al., 1998).

Corbet (1999) estimated average distance traveled for a commuting flight (between reproductive and foraging sites) to be less than 200 m but sometimes greater than one km. Pond-breeding odonates may wander but generally stay within a few km of their emergence pond. At the species level, overall range (and dispsersal capability) tends to be larger than for lotic species possibly in response to greater instability of lentic versus lotic habitat over time (Hof et al., 2006). Distribution is often limited in response to presence or absence of predators (also dependent on habitat permanence) (McPeek, 1989; Stoks and McPeek, 2003a; 2003b). At night and during inclement weather, adult Procordulia grayi roosted at least one km away from the reproductive site (Rowe, 1987). Conrad et al. (1999) listed maximum dispersal distance of Sympetrum sanguieneum at 1.2 km but at 800 m or less with high dispersal rate between ponds for other species (Ischnura elegans, Coenagrion puella, C. pulchellum, Lestes sponsa, Enallagma cyathigerum, and Pyrrhosoma nymphalis). Michiels and Dhondt (1991) cited dispersal distance of Sympetrum donae in Belgium at greater than 1.75 km and most mature adults immigrated away from the emergence site. Moore (1986) cited several species of Enallagma as dispersing 2.7 km and found no colonization of artificial acid water ponds in eastern England constructed at least 5 km from colonized natural ponds in 12 consecutive years (single introduced population of Ceriagrion tenellum not surviving past the second generation). Purse et al. (2003) found mature adults of the rare European damselfly, Coenagrion mercuriale, had a low rate of movement within continuous habitat (< 25 m), low emigration rates (1.3 to 11.4%), and low colonization distances (max. 1 km), comparable to other similarly sized coenagrionids.

Even within genera, however, differences in dispersal patterns may exist. McPeek (1989) found the mechanisms causing Enallagma movements between Michigan lakes were due to propensity to leave natal lakes, not active selection of different habitats (e.g. lakes with fish, without fish, or winterkill lakes with fish part-year). With the exception of winterkill lake species (Enallagma ebrium), species in lakes with fish (E. geminatum, E. hageni) and fishless lake species (E. boreale, E. cyathigerum), moved little or not at all away from natal lakes; even those less than 10 m apart. Natural selection may favor remaining at natal lakes where ecological conditions are constant and dispersal costs (i.e. mortality) high (McPeek, 1989). Uncharacteristic movement of E. ebrium away from natal lakes is explained by recolonization of lakes in which populations have been reduced or eliminated and reproducing when winterkill of fish populations changes a lake to the fishless condition.

Considering the above tendency for pond breeding odonates to remain at or near (order of hundreds of meters) natal emergence sites, separation distance has been set at 3 km.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: The few studies determining area of adult foraging habitat surrounding breeding sites have indicated a range of 30 meters to 300 meters [see Briggs (1993) for Enallagma laterale; Corbet (1999) for Nesciothemis nigeriensis and Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis; Beukeman (2002) for Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis; and Samways and Steytler (1996) for Chorolestes tessalatus]. As a result, an element occurrence should include the breeding site and surrounding pond or upland habitat extending 500 m in a radius from the breeding site.
Date: 12Feb2007
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 28Nov2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Dunkle, S.W. (January 1999), Schweitzer, D.F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Jan1991
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): DUNKLE, S. W.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Abbott, J.C. 2007. Cordulegaster sayi. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 01 December 2008.

  • Beaton, C. 2008. Species accounts for protected animals; Cordulegaster sayi. Online. Available: http://georgiawildlife.dnr.state.ga.us/assets/documents/gnhp/cordulegaster_sayi.pdf.

  • Bick, G.H. 1983. Odonata at risk in conterminous United States and Canada. Odonatologica 12(3):209-226.

  • Dunkle, S.W., 1989. Dragonflies of the Florida Peninsula, Bermuda and the Bahamas. Scientific Publishers, Gainesville, FL. 154 pp.

  • Lohmann, H. 1992. Revision der Cordulegastridae 1. Opuscula Zoologica Flumensia 96:1-18.

  • Needham, J.G. and M.J. Westfall, Jr. 1954. A Manual of the Dragonflies of North America (Anisoptera). University of California Press, Berkeley, California. 615 pp.

  • Paulson, D.R. and S.W. Dunkle. 1999. A Checklist of North American Odonata. Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound Occasional Paper, 56: 86 pp. Available: http://www.ups.edu/x7015.xml.

  • Paulson, D.R., and S.W. Dunkle. 2009. A checklist of North American Odonata including English name, etymology, type locality, and distribution. Originally published as Occasional Paper No. 56, Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound, June 1999; completely revised March 2009. Online. Available: http://www.odonatacentral.org/docs/NA_Odonata_Checklist_2009.pdf.

  • Perkins, P. D. 1983. North American insect status review. Contract 14-16-0009-79-052. Final report to Office of Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. 354 pp.

  • Stevenson, D.J., G. Beaton, and M. J. Elliott. 2009. Distribution, status, and ecology of Cordulegaster sayi in Georgia, USA (Odonata: Cordulegastridae). Bulletin of American Odonatology 11(1):20-25.

  • Wells, S.M., R.M. Pyle, and N.M. Collins. 1983. The IUCN Invertebrate Red Data Book. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 632 pp.

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