Libellula jesseana - Williamson, 1922
Purple Skimmer
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Libellula jesseana Williamson, 1922 (TSN 101912)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.107348
Element Code: IIODO45220
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Dragonflies and Damselflies
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Odonata Libellulidae Libellula
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ 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: Libellula jesseana
Taxonomic Comments: Morphologically identical to L. auripennis, but behavior and ecology seem different, including an apparently shorter flight season. However, Paulson (2011) points out the only different is the presence or absence of pruinosity. The restricted range and narrow habitat choice of L. jesseana is what leads odonatologists to consider L. jesseana a valid species but keep in mind that it may just be a localized pruinose color morph.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Sep2013
Global Status Last Changed: 02Feb2007
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This species had previously been ranked G2 based on recently documented occurrences at the suggestion of Sid Dunkle. Although it is suspected that additional occurrences of this species probably exist in addition to the known ones, the assigned global rank must also reflect the rapid development of sand bottom lakes in Florida and the sensitivity of this species to eutrophication. According to Jerrell Daigle, in 2006 there was only one lake in a state park where this species can be found regularly in the eastern Florida peninsula. Pending additional surveys documenting good numbers of this species at several additional new and protected locations, the more prudent ranking for this species remains G1.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (02Feb2007)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Florida (S1)

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: Endemic to Florida. In two disjunct areas, nine counties on the eastern side of Florida Peninsula, and Bay/Washington Counties in the Florida Panhandle.

Area of Occupancy: 1-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: This dragonfly requires clean, sand-bottom lakes for breeding. These types of lakes are usually only a few acres in size at most. Assuming there are 1000 such lakes scattered across its known range, a reasonable maximum area of occupancy would be 5000 acres.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Known from 15 lakes. Probably occurs on four times as many lakes, most of which would be on private property requiring permission to survey. Might occur in a few lakes of adjacent Georgia and Alabama, but not many.

Population Size: 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Assuming a few hundred at each lake and one hundred suitable lakes, the population size would be in the 30 to 40 thousand range.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are at least three populations with good long-term viabity among the Econfina Creek Water Management Area, Gold Head Branch State Park, and the Ocala National Forest. There are probably other lakes in the Ocala National Forest that are supporting this species as well.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threatened due to explosive population growth in Florida, especially around the type of lake where this species occurs.

Florida's lakes are being rapidly developed, and most will probably be eutrophicated by lawn fertilizers and septic tank outflows, which will allow L. jesseanna to be outcompeted by the common L. auripennis.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Florida's lakes are being rapidly developed, and most will probably be eutrophicated by lawn fertilizers and septic tank outflows, which will allow L. JESSEANA to be outcompeted by the more common L. AURIPENNIS.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: This long-term trend ranking is only an estimate and requires further research into the population trends of this species in areas that have not yet been recently surveyed as well as on private property.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Fragile and vulnerable because of lake eutrophication.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Clear-water, sand-bottomed lakes edged with sparse maidencane grass and St. Johns wort bushes

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Search for more EOs, including southern Georgia and southern Alabama. Document the continued persistence of this species at some of the older-documented sites.

Protection Needs: Lakes where this species occur should be protected against shoreline development, pesticide use, and from eutrophication due to agricultural or residential fetilizers (Deyrup and Franz, 1994).

Creating patches of sparse grass in lakes with dense grass zones may create habitat for this species (Deyrup and Franz, 1994).

Distribution
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Global Range: (250-20,000 square km (about 100-8000 square miles)) Endemic to Florida. In two disjunct areas, nine counties on the eastern side of Florida Peninsula, and Bay/Washington Counties in the Florida Panhandle.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single state or province

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

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Bay (12005), Clay (12019), Lake (12069), Marion (12083), Putnam (12107), Washington (12133)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Upper St. Johns (03080101)+, Oklawaha (03080102)+, Lower St. Johns (03080103)+, St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A medium-sized dragonfly with a blue body and orange wings.
General Description: Adult male pruinose blue with orange wings. Female identical to female L. AURIPENNIS. These species were lumped together by Needham & Westfall, 1955. Larva undescribed.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Male coloration diagnostic. Color photo in Dunkle (1989, Fig 69) as well as in Paulson (B11PAU01FLUS).
Ecology Comments: Apparently needs the most infertile sand-bottomed lakes with only sparse grass in the littoral zone.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Habitat Comments: Clear-water, sand-bottomed lakes, of the most infertile type, edged with sparse maiden-cane grass and St. John's Wort shrubs. Adults forage in open woodland or shrubland.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: Larvae overwinter, probably 1 year life cycle, flight season April 21 to Sept. 12.
Length: 5 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Larva is undescribed. Adults should be reared from eggs laid by a purple female to see if any orange L. auripennis males result. All aspects of ecology, behavior, and DNA/proteins should be compared with L. auripennis. See if mechanical thinning of grass at a lake presently occupied only by L. auripennis would allow L. jesseana to colonize or be released/established there.
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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Justification: Use the Generic Element Occurrence Rank Specifications (2008).
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
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: 04Sep2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Dunkle, S.W.; Jue, D. K., Schweitzer, D.F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 04Sep2013

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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  • Deyrup, M., and R. Franz. 1994. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida, Volume IV: Invertebrates. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 798 pp.

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

  • 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. 2011. Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 538 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.

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