Dragonflies (Odonata) of Kharkov Region
Стрекозы Харьковской области, Украина
by Eugene Karolinskiy
Species recorded in 2006  2013Historic recordsReferencesLinks


The study of dragonfly fauna of Kharkov region started in 1876, when P. Ivanov published his pioneer paper on dragonflies of Kupyansk environs (Ivanov, 1876). Since then, several papers that treated dragonflies of Kharkov region appeared: Yaroshevsky, 1881, Rodzyanko, 1889, 1895, Fadeev, 1929, Solodovnikov, 1929, 1940, Zakharenko, 1955, 1968, Medvedev, 1963, 1964. As a result of this research, the list of Odonata of Kharkov region reached 46 species.

After that and until recently, there was no systematic study of the dragonfly fauna and distribution in Kharkov region. The most recent  faunistic treatment of the whole territory of Ukraine (Gorb et al., 2000) gives the history of odonatology in Kharkov region but almost completely omits all the details on the dragonfly distribution (the list of dragonflies of Kharkov region listed there contains just 5 (!) species1, though other regions of Ukraine are treated much more comprehensively). A short note on Eastern Ukraine (Martynov & Martynov, 2005) summarizes the state of previous research and gives no new records for Kharkov region. The maps published in a recent Eastern European guide (Skvortsov, 2010) give no authentic information about Kharkov region (and contain several errors).

The present project is devoted to fill the gap in this research. From 2006 to 2013 a lot of fieldwork in the region was made. During 2006, 2007, and 2008 the dragonfly observations were occasional, and only since 2009 they become more systematic. Many of the field trips were joint with Aleksandr and Konstantin Slutsky and Boris Loboda. I also include here some finds made by fellow entomologists. We studied mostly adult insects (though a few exuvia were recorded). All specimens were identified in hand; some specimens were collected. The photographs of all recorded species were made; most were photographed in natural conditions. The majority of these photographs were taken by A. Slutsky, B. Loboda, and me.

During our research, fieldwork were made in Kharkov, Dergachi, Zolochev, Krasnokutsk, Valki, Novaya Vodolaga, Zmiev, Balakleya, Izyum, Borovaya, Barvenkovo, Bliznyuki, Lozovaya, Chuguev, Pechenegi, Volchansk, Velikij Burluk, Dvurechnaya, and Zachepilovka districts, and within the city of Kharkov. We studied the dragonfly fauna of Seversky Donets, Oskol, Volchya, Udy, Lopan', Kharkov, Mzha, Merla, Orel', and Orchik river basins, many lakes, ponds, and bogs of various types as well as surrounding habitats.

As a result, we record 50 species of Odonata. Among these, 10 species (Lestes parvidens, Sympecma paedisca, Anax parthenope, Orthetrum brunneum, Orthetrum coerulescens anceps, Crocothemis erythraea, Sympetrum depressiusculum, Sympetrum striolatum, Sympetrum fonscolombii, and Leucorrhinia rubicunda) are new records for the region. Notice that A. parthenope, O. brunneum, O. c. anceps, C. erythraea, S. striolatum, and S. fonscolombii are species of southern origin expanding their ranges (thus might be absent in the region in mid-XX century), and S. paedisca was possibly overlooked (see Rodzyanko, 1895: 121-122 on "two morphs" under S. fusca). The most interesing among new records is L. rubicunda, which is a boreal species and probably is of relict origin in our region. Records of L. parvidens and S. depressiusculum are also very interesting. The above mentioned new records (except L. parvidens, added later in 2011) were published in Karolinskiy & Gramma, 2010. Notice also that 6 of the species previously recorded for the region were not found by us. Some of these are known by just a few specimens collected more than 100 years ago (e.g., Ae. viridis, Ae. grandis, L. caudalis) and probably are now extirpated, some might be recorded erroneously, and some have a chance to be found during future research.

Notice that a recent important paper Martynov, 2010, dealing with Odonata fauna of the whole Seversky Donets basin in Ukraine (within Kharkov, Donetsk and Lugansk regions), gives a lot of dragonfly records for Kharkov region (these records are also shown on maps at this site, thanks to A. Martynov for his kind permission). In particular, there are independent records of S. paedisca, O. c. anceps, and C. erythraea.

Therefore, the list of Odonata ever recorded in Kharkov region is expanded to 56 species. We split this list into two parts: fully illustrated list of species recorded by us during 2006 - 2013, and historic records. For each species we include a map showing the places of observations (including the specimens from available collections). We plan to continue this project and make the knowledge of the dragonfly fauna of our region more accurate and complete.

The systematic treatment in the lists follows Dijkstra et al., 2006 (with some minor changes).

I am grateful to A. Drogvalenko (Kharkov), A. Dronov (Kharkov), E. Dyatlova (Odessa), V. N. Gramma (Kharkov), Yu. Guglya (Kharkov), B. Loboda (Kharkov), E. Malikova (Blagoveshchensk), A. Martynov (Donetsk), V. Moskaev (Kharkov reg., Borovaya), V. Savchuk (Crimea, Primorskij), A. Shekhovtsov (Kharkov), E. Skobtsova (Orel), A. Slutsky (Kharkov), and K. Slutsky (Kharkov) for various help in conducting this project, and to my beloved wife Sasha for her inspiration and patience.