Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 May 2021 | 13(6): 18631–18641


ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)

#6547 | Received 09 August 2020 | Final received 22 November 2020 | Finally accepted 18 April 2021



Further additions to the Odonata (Insecta) fauna of Asansol-Durgapur Industrial Area, Paschim Bardhaman, India


Amar Kumar Nayak 1  & Subhajit Roy 2


1 Searsole Junior Basic School, Searsole Rajbari, Paschim Bardhaman, West Bengal 713358, India.

2 B-9/138, Kalyani, Nadia, West Bengal 741235, India.

1 (corresponding author), 2




Editor: Ashish D. Tiple, Vidyabharati College, Seloo, Wardha, India.        Date of publication: 26 May 2021 (online & print)


Citation: Nayak, A.K. & S. Roy (2021). Further additions to the Odonata (Insecta) fauna of Asansol-Durgapur Industrial Area, Paschim Bardhaman, India.  Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(6): 18631–18641.


Copyright: © Nayak & Roy 2021. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: None.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: Both the authors thankfully acknowledge the kind help, guidance and co-operation extended by Dr. K. A. Subramanian, Scientist, Zoological Survey of India, Chennai and Dr. Ashish Tiple, Faculty, Zoology Department, RTM Nagpur University. We are thankful to administrators of Odonata of India website ( and members of the ‘DragonflySouthAsiafacebook group ( for identification help. We sincerely acknowledge our family, friends and field supporters for their support and motivation during the study. In this regard authors would like to specially mention Mr. Debdulal Banerjee and Mr. Arijit Mondal, without whose kind cooperation this study would never have been completed.




Abstract: In this present communication we report the occurrence of additional 13 Odonate species from the Asansol-Durgapur Industrial Area, West Bengal, India, making the total 76.  This paper reports the first record of Libellago indica (Fraser, 1928) and first photographic records of Macromia flavicincta Selys, 1874 from West Bengal.  It also reports the range extension of Macromia cingulata Rambur, 1842 from the Purulia District to Paschim Bardhaman District.


Keywords: Damselfly, dragonfly, Odonata, Paschim Bardhaman.



The first peer reviewed work on the Odonata fauna of Asansol-Durgapur Industrial Area, Paschim Bardhaman, West Bengal, India was conducted by Nayak & Roy (2016), which reported a total number of 57 species.  Nayak (2020) added six more species to the list, thereby increasing the total species to 63.  In this communication, we report an additional 13 species found from the same region, however, the aim of the present study is to update the checklist of the Odonata fauna of Asansol-Durgapur industrial area.


Materials and Methods

Study area: The present study is conducted at all 13 study sites along with six new study points which are situated in Asansol-Durgapur (23.689–23.5200N and 86.966–87.3120E) area, an important industrial urban agglomeration of Paschim Bardhaman District of West Bengal, India (Figure 1).  The details of 19 study points are given in the Table 1.

Data collection:  The present work has been conducted by both the authors from October 2019 to October 2020 in different selected study sites of the region.  We also examined our previously (January 2013 to September 2019) captured images during the present study and some species were identified which are new records for the study region.  A combination of direct search technique (Sutherland 1996) and opportunistic sighting methods were applied during the entire study (January 2013 to October 2020) to record Odonata diversity.  Individual species were photo-documented from the study area (Figure 1). Images (Images 1–13) were cross-checked and identified using standard field guides (Fraser 1933, 1934, 1936; Subramanian 2009; Nair 2011).  Canon Power Shot SX40 HS, Nikon Coolpix P600 and Nikon D5300 camera with Nikkor Af-P 70–300mm lens were used for photo documentation of the odonates.



A total of 13 different Odonata species were recorded including both dragonflies (Anisoptera) and damselflies (Zygoptera) (Figure 2), which were represented by 12 genera from seven families.  Among these, three families were represented by damselflies (Zygoptera), viz., Lestidae (One species and one genus), Chlorocyphidae (One species and one genus), and Coenagrionidae (two species and two genera) (Figure 3).  Rest of the families was represented by dragonflies (Anisoptera), viz., Aeshnidae (two species and two genera), Gomphidae (one species and one genus), Macromiidae (two species and one genus), and Libellulidae (four species and four genera) (Figure 4).  Comparison of the previously reported and the new reports of Anisoptera and Zygoptera sub-order from the study region are represented by Figures 5 & 6, respectively.  All these 13 species found in Ajay-Damodar River basin area are new reports for the entire district.  Systematic arrangement of the species follows Subramanian & Babu (2017).  A detailed account of the species is given below:


Suborder Anisoptera Selys, 1854

Family Aeshnidae Leach, 1815

1.  Anax indicus Lieftinck, 1942

IUCN status: Least Concern (Mitra 2010)

Sighted on: 18.x.2016, 02.xi.2018, 18.x.2019, 05.ix.2020, 28.x.2020; Study sites: S1, S12, S14

Comments: This species is commonly seen in the study region.  It hovers above wetlands and water bodies.  We found two individual females in different place and time, hanging vertically inside the scrub during day time.  AKN found this species frequently from S1.  From S12 & S14 each, single female individuals have been sighted by Sagar Adhurya & SR, respectively.


2.  Gynacantha cf. subinterrupta Rambur, 1842

IUCN status: Least Concern (Dow 2011)

Sighted on: 18.i.2013,, 11.vii.2013; Study sites: S3, S5

Comments: This species was confused with similar other Gynacantha species.  With the help of the description given by Khan (2015) and by the images of the ‘Odonata of India’ website (Joshi et al. 2020), author found similarities with Gynacantha subinterrupta species but due to lack of a specimen authors cannot confirm the photograph as Gynacantha subinterrupta without matching secondary genitalia.  So we decided to report this observation as Gynacantha cf. subinterrupta.  This species prefers shaded area.  From S3, AKN found one male and one female and a single male individual were sighted by AKN from S5.


Family Gomphidae Rambur, 1842

3.  Cyclogomphus heterostylus Selys, 1854

IUCN status: Data Deficient (Dow 2009)

Sighted on: 19.vii.2015; Study site: S4

Comments: This species is not commonly seen in this region.  Only a single male was sighted in the field by AKN. The diagnostic characteristics of Cyclogomphus heterostylus Selys, 1854 are - thorax with two “Y”-shaped markings on each side; superior anal appendages pale yellow, short, straight, slightly separated, and directed straight backwards (Fraser 1934).  The species is very similar to Cyclogomphus ypsilon Selys, 1854 and Cyclogomphus wilkinsi Fraser, 1926.  Fraser (1934) stated that the differences indicated by Selys are found inconsistent on examination of a large number of specimens, so that no dependence can be placed on the colouration and nodal index to separate C. heterostylus from C. ypsiion and C. wilkinsi.  Few characteristics to differentiate these three species are given by Fraser such as, the distinctly thicker black band on the lower part of frons, entirely yellow labrum, two “Y”-shaped markings on each side of the thorax, superior anal appendages short, straight, slightly separated, and directed straight backwards and the inferior is relatively much longer and directed straight up possessed by C. heterostylus.  The difference between male and female of C. heterostylus are not stated by Fraser but female of rest of two species have only some minor differences like bigger size, extensive black markings etc.


Family Macromiidae Needham, 1903

4.  Macromia cingulata Rambur, 1842

IUCN status: Least Concern (Subramanian 2011)

Sighted on: 07.vii.2020, 08.vii.2020; Study site: S1

Comments: Only one male and one female individual have been found by AKN, hanging vertically from an electric wire.  Identification has been done using Fraser (1924, 1936) and Subramanian et al. (2018).  Mitra (2002) reported its distribution in Bengal as per literature review Dawn (2021), reports its distribution from Purulia District, southern West Bengal.  In the present paper authors report a confirm photographic record of the species from southern West Bengal.  The distribution of this species now extends from Purulia to Paschim Bardhaman District, West Bengal.


5.  Macromia flavicincta Selys, 1874

IUCN status: Data Deficient (Dow 2010)

Sighted on: 02.viii.2018,, 10.x.2020; Study sites: S4, S16

Comments: This species was found from the same place (S16) in 2018 and 2020 by Arijit Mondal.  Recently AKN found a female hanging from the branch of a tree near Durgapur Barrage (S4).  Identification has been done using Fraser (1924, 1936), Subramanian et al. (2018), and images in ‘India Biodiversity Portal’ website (Tiple 2013; Balachandran 2016).  No photographic record of this species was found from West Bengal.  But the distribution of this species in West Bengal was reported by Srivastava & Sinha (1993) on the basis of literature review.  Mitra (2002) also reported its distribution in West Bengal.  Apart from West Bengal it has photographic report from Maharashtra by Tiple & Koparde (2015).  Diagnostic characteristics of Macromia flavicincta are given by Fraser (1936) – for male: a medium size dragonfly (Abdomen: 47–50mm, Wing span: 41–43mm) with black abdomen and ringed with citrine-yellow.  Labium is bright yellow-orange colour, labrum is bright yellow, frons bright citrine-yellow with a broadly black thick line.  Eyes are emerald green, ociput dark brown and yellow spot behind vesicle. Prothorax and thorax are also dark brown with metallic blue reflex and marked with citrine-yellow.  Bold and large stripes on the humeral region.  Legs are black.  Wings hyaline and palely tinted with yellow-brown.  Pterostigma is black.  Anal appendages is dull yellow-orange colour, superiors as long as segment 9.  Female (Abdomen: 50–53mm, Wing span: 43–44mm) of the species is brighter in colour, abdomen markedly compressed and of even width throughout as seen from the above.  Wings are more tinted with brown and anal appendages is reddish brown and shortly conical.  This species can be distinguished from other species of same genus by its very broad abdominal yellow annules, entirely yellow labium, and by the black T-shaped mark on the frons.  It differs from M. cingulata in having an entirely yellow labium.  M. cingulata is also more slender insect.  Macromia flavicincta is closely allied to M. flavovittata Fraser, 1935.  The distinguishing characteristics of these two species are - M. flavovittata has labrum with no broadly black stripe, no yellow spot behind eyes, abdominal segments 3 to 6 with paired dorsal spots and shape of the male anal appendages (Fraser 1936).


Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

6. Hydrobasileus croceus Brauer, 1867

IUCN status: Least Concern (Mitra 2010)

Sighted on: 05-ix-2020; Study site: S1

Comments: The species is a new record for the Paschim Bardhaman District.  The photographic record of the species has been found from northern West Bengal (Pal 2017).  Mukherjee et al. (2016) also reported the species from Bankura District.  So this is the second report of the species from southern Bengal.  Only a single male individual was observed by AKN, found hanging from an open branch of a tree beside a pond in study site S1.


7.  Lathrecista asiatica Fabricius, 1798

IUCN status: Least Concern (Dow & Kakkasery 2017)

Sighted on: 21.iv.2020, 30.vii.2020; Study site: S1

Comments: Both times single female individuals were sighted by AKN, from the study area.  It is not so common in the region.  It has widespread distribution throughout the state (Nayak et al. 2019c), however this is the first photographic report of the species from Paschim Bardhaman District.


8.  Neurothemis fulvia (Drury, 1773)

IUCN status: Least Concern (Mitra 2010)

Sighted on: 23.ix.2017, 21.x.2020, 17.xii.2019, 12.viii.2020, 15.ix.2020, 18.xi.2020, 18.x.2020; Study sites: S3, S12, S18, S19

Comments: This species can commonly be seen in some forested areas in Paschim Bardhaman District.  During the study one female individual was sighted by AKN, from the study point S3.  SR also found both male and female of this species frequently from study point S18.  A male individual has also been sighted at S19 by SR.  Sagar Adhurya, also sighted a female individual from S12.  The authors acknowledge few more reports of its finding from outside the study area but inside the district (Nayak et al. 2019b).


9. Orthetrum chrysis Selys, 1891

IUCN status: Least Concern (Subramanian 2010)

Sighted on: 07.xi.2013; Study site: S3

Comments: Previously the species was confused with Orthetrum pruinosum Burmeister, 1839 sub-adult male.  Only a single male individual was sighted by AKN from the study area.  Diagnostic characteristics are given by Fraser (1936) are as follows – frons bright scarlet colour, throax ferruginous and abdomen bright blood red, wings with basal markings and extending to the first antenodal nerve.  Wings hyaline, tinted with very pale brown. Female of the species without any basal markings, abdomen bright yellow-orange in colour (same for the sub-adult).  The dark purplish-red, rather crimson than scarlet, tint of the abdomen, darker thoraх and the abdomen more slender, gradually tapering rather than evenly broad to S7, well distinguished it from O. pruinosum male.


Suborder Zygoptera Selys, 1854

Family Lestidae Calvert, 1901

10.  Lestes praemorsus Hagen in Selys, 1862

IUCN status: Least Concern (Dow & Sharma 2020)

Sighted on: 21.xi.2018, 02.xi.2019; Study sites: S2, S15

Comments: SR observed six individuals both males and females flying around the study point S15.  Weak agile flying and egg laying were observed during the study.  Only one female individual was found by Arijit Mondal from a paddy field near S2.  It prefers bushes and shaded areas.


Family Chlorocyphidae Cowley, 1937

11.  Libellago indica (Fraser, 1928)

IUCN status: Not assessed.

Sighted on: 22.x.2018, 02.xi.2018, 5.ix.2020; Study sites: S1, S14

Comments: Debdulal Banerjee observed a single female individual for the very first time on 22 October 2018 from south bank of Tumni River (S14), a tributary of the Ajoy River.  At first it was presumed to be Libellago lineata (Burmeister, 1839) on the basis of identification keys by Fraser (1934).  On 2 November 2018, SR, guided and accompanied by Debdulal Banerjee, observed at least 20 individuals along 100m stretch of S14.  Images of male, female, oviposition, copula and predation were captured.  About two years later AKN found a single male individual from study point S1.  In the dorsal photo of the male individual, the thick mid-dorsal dumbbell-shaped black marking in segment 2 and significantly broader mid-dorsal stripes in segments 3 to 5 compared to typical L. lineata, as mentioned by Fraser (1934) helped us conclude it as L. indica.  Consultation with administrators of the ‘Odonata of India’ (Joshi et. al. 2020) helped the authors affirm that it should be Libellago indica (Fraser, 1928).  Fraser (1928) described it from the type locality Pune (present Maharashtra) and also collected individuals from southern India, along the Western Ghats up to Kerala.  Lahiri & Sinha (1991) extended the range eastwards to Bastar District (present Chhattisgarh State).  Authors found recent distributional range extension reports of the species by Payra et al. (2020).  These two papers extended its range up to Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, respectively.  This paper confirms the extension of the species beyond the easternmost slope of the Chhotanagpur Plateau region (which is an extension of the Deccan Plateau) of West Bengal into the peneplains.  The authors found no previous report of Libellago indica (Fraser, 1928) from entire West Bengal.  The present manuscript reports a range extension of the species from Odisha to West Bengal, which is also a new record for the state.  Given the vast geographical range across the Deccan and Chhotanagpur Plateaus, L. indica also has shown considerable variations like L. lineata.  The mid-dorsal black markings, in particular, though considerably thicker compared to the typical L. lineata, are narrower compared to the individuals found in the southern Western Ghats.


Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

12. Agriocnemis lacteola Selys, 1877

IUCN status: Least Concern (Dow 2009)

Sighted on: 18.x.2020; Study sites: S17

Comments: Only one male individual was sighted by SR during field survey.  According to the key provided by Fraser (1933), the male of this species is easily identifiable in the field by its characteristic white abdomen, completely unmarked with black.  The type specimen is from ‘Bengal’.  Fraser (1933) had mentioned distribution of the species from Alipurduar (Hasimara) and Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal.  Prasad & Ghosh (1988) reported collection of it from Purba Medinipur District.  Payra & Tiple (2019) also reported the photographic record of this species from coastal area of Purba Medinipur District.  Mukherjee et al. (2016) reported this species from Bankura District. Pal (2017) reported it from North Bengal University campus in Darjeeling District.  There is also a recent photographic record of a male individual by SR from Jhargram District (Nayak et al. 2019a).  The above records prove it to be quite widespread in West Bengal.  The authors report the first photographic report of the species from Paschim Bardhaman District in this present paper.


13. Pseudagrion australasiae Selys, 1876

IUCN status: Least Concern (Dow 2009)

Sighted on: 03.x.2014, 21.xi.2018; Study sites: S6, S15

Comments: Commonly found from the study area along with other damselflies.  Confusion arises in the field with P. microcephalum (Rambur, 1842) male, but the prominent view of male anal appendages can clear all doubts.  It prefers bushes and marshes near shallow water bodies.  Fraser (1933) and Srivastava & Sinha (1993) stated the diagnosis of the species along with distinguishing features to other species of same genus.  For male, identification characteristics are - face, frons, vertex and occiput bluish-green, marked with black.  Thorax azure blue on dorsum and sides marked with humeral and mid-dorsum broad black stripes.  Prothorax is pale blue, the middle lobe on dorsum with black crown-shaped marking.  Legs are pale blue.  Small black spot on the lateral side of mesepimeron and a thicker spot on the upper end of lateral suture.  Superior anal appendage half the length of abdomen 10, apically bifid, hooded strongly inward.  And identification keys for female are dorsal markings on segments 2 and 8 very broad, extending the whole length of segments, that on 2 broads at the base.  Segment 2 with a diamond- or cordate shaped subapical spot on dorsum connected finely to base and apex.  This species has some similarity with P. microcephalam, but is distinguishable from same by elongate vase-shaped spot on abdominal segment – 2 instead goblet-shaped and in absence of basal spines.  The thoracic black stripes are much wide in P. australasiae, and superior anal appendages shorter.  The half circle mark at the mesepimeron in case of P. australasiae, whereas restricted to single dot in P. microcephalum.  Comparison of the male’s head & thorax; dorsum of thorax with three broad black bands, crown-shaped marking on the middle of prothorax, spots on and most importantly the male anal appendages, the superior anal appendages only half as long as segment 10; which differentiate this species from other species of Pseudagrion genus.  Mitra & Babu (2010) reported its distribution from Howrah, Kolkata and North 24 Parganas districts, Srivastava & Sinha (1993) also reported its distribution from Birbhum District.  Most recently Pal (2017) reported photographic record of it from North Bengal University campus, Darjeeling District. Both the author found this species from the study area.  Hence this present manuscript claims first photographic record of the species from southern West Bengal.



With the addition of these 13 newly recorded species from the study region, the total number of Odonata species stands at 76.  Due to the geographical position of the region, a microclimatic variation can be noted (Choudhury et al. 2018; Gupta et al. 2019) and it reflects itself in the Odonata diversity of the region.  Since this region represents one of the largest industrial and urban agglomerations in West Bengal (Choudhury et al. 2018), most of the water bodies and streams are highly polluted with industrial and domestic wastes (Dey et al. 1985; Banerjee & Gupta 2013).  Since odonates are considered as biological indicator species (Clark et al. 1996; Corbett 1999; Catling 2005), it is necessary that other than diversity and abundance studies, a long-term monitoring needs to be taken up in the study region as well as in the state.  We strongly believe that through continuous studies and long-term observation in more study points, new records for the state can be found from the region which will enrich the Odonata diversity of the state too, even we can describe some new species to science.  We also believe that sustained and co-ordinated efforts are necessary for documenting the Odonata diversity of the state.


Table 1. Brief description with altitude, latitude, and longitude of the selected study sites.

Study site

Location name

Altitude (meters)

Latitude (N)

Longitude (E)

Habitat type



Village, Andal, Durgapur





Remnants of dry deciduous forests with more than 20 large water bodies.


Andal old aerodrome, Andal, Durgapur




Open grassland and agricultural land with a slow flowing perennial stream.


Searsole Junior Basic School, Raniganj, Asansol




Planted trees with four large water bodies surrounded by agriculture land.


Durgapur Barrage, Durgapur




Wetland dependent mixed vegetation with a perennial river.



village, Raniganj, Asansol




Remnants of dry deciduous forests with eight large water bodies, interspersed with agricultural land.


Nimcha Coal Mine area, Raniganj, Asansol




Mixed forest with a slow flowing perennial stream and open coal pits.


Gopalmath Rail Colony, Durgapur




Open grassland and agricultural land with more than 10 large water bodies.



Nehru Park, Burnpur, Asansol




Remnants of dry deciduous forests with a slow flowing perennial stream and a river.


Gunjan Ecological Park, Nigha, Asansol




Wetland dependent, mixed vegetation with an abandoned open-cast coal mine converted into a large water body.


Ambuja Wetland,

City Centre, Durgapur





Wetland dependent mixed vegetation with a large water body.


Rana Pratap, A–Zone,






Remnants of dry deciduous forests with a slow flowing perennial stream.


Mohan Kumarmangalam Park,  B-Zone, Durgapur




The study area is covered by mixed vegetation with a large water body.



Temple, Kalyaneshwari,





The study area situated beside the temple and the habitat is remnant of dry deciduous forests with a slow flowing perennial stream.


Tumni River, Balijuri village, Faridpur-





This place is situated at the bank of Ajay River.  The Tumni river is a slow flowing perennial stream.  Natural marshes and bushes at the study point.


Uttar Pally, M.A.M.C., Durgapur




The study area is a pond.  The pond is located with hamlet to its west and south, forest on the north and paddy fields to the east and south.


Damodar River Bank, Srirampur Village, Durgapur




The area has been covered by trees, marshes, bushes, paddy fields and other crop yielding fields.


Girmint Colliery, Kankhaya, Asansol




An underground colliery abandoned after a fire, it is now overgrown with secondary vegetation of shrubs and bushes and surrounded by rural grasslands.  A small rectangular cemented manmade water tank, previously used to supply water to the boiler, is the only water body.






Durgapur Projects Limited Township, Gammon Bridge, Durgapur




Backyard of an urban bungalow with both ornamental garden plants, trees bearing edible fruits and natural shrubs facing a tiny remnant of primary Shorea robusta forest on the opposite side of the road.  No water bodies around.






Garui River, Satpukuria village, Asansol




Densely forested, almost impenetrable sacred grove of remnant primary vegetation around a temple on one bank of the Garui River, and agricultural fields on the opposite bank. The riverbed, home to diverse emergent and submerged aquatic macrophytes interspersed with rocky boulder formations.



For figures & images - - click here





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