A study on the community structure of damselflies (Insecta: Odonata: Zygoptera) in Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, India

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Pathik Kumar Jana
Priyanka Halder Mallick
Tanmay Bhattacharya


For gauging suitability of zygopteran odonates as bioindicators of ecosystems, an attempt was made to record the seasonal diversity of damselflies from seven different types of habitats in Paschim Medinipur District, West Bengal covering 14 land use sites. The study revealed existence of 19 species of damselflies belonging to 10 genera under two families. While the riparian zone had maximum number of species (15), paddy field had the lowest number (six). Ceriagrion coromandelianum and Agriocnemis pygmaea were the most common species. C. coromandelianum was eudominant in grassland and wetland-forest interface, whereas A. pygmaea was eudominant in fish pond and paddy field. Six species, viz., Paracercion calamorum, P. malayanum, Pseudagrion australasiae, P. decorum, P. spencei, and P. microcephalum were confined only to the riparian zone. Maximum abundance of damselflies was found in the riparian zone and minimum in the paddy field. Damselflies exhibited a distinct peak in March–April and a lesser peak in September–October. Most of the land use patterns exhibited similar zygopteran faunal composition. Species diversity index was moderate (1.4–2.5) and evenness index was on the higher side (0.76–0.94). Dominance Index ranged from 26.2 to 64.6. Riparian zone appeared to be the least stressed and most equitable habitat with highest diversity and evenness index and lowest dominance index. Paddy field seemed to be the harshest habitat for damselflies with least diversity and highest dominance index. The present study suggests that community analysis of damselflies can be quite useful in the assessment of the quality of any ecosystem.

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