Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 277–284 | Cite as

Conservation status and protection of three Antillean endemic damselflies

  • Yusdiel Torres-Cambas
  • Martiño Cabana-Otero
  • M. Olalla Lorenzo-Carballa
  • Adolfo Cordero-Rivera


Hypolestes (Odonata, Zygoptera) is a damselfly genus endemic to the Greater Antilles. The genus comprises three species: H. clara from Jamaica, H. trinitatis from Cuba, and H. hatuey from Hispaniola, which are currently evaluated by the IUCN as Endangered (EN), Vulnerable (VU) and Data Deficient, respectively. Here, we re-assess the conservation status of these species based on their extent of occurrence, as estimated from ecological niche models. In addition, we analyse the coverage offered to each of the three species by the protected areas from Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti. Our results support the maintenance H. trinitatis in the category of VU, and suggest the re-classification of H. hatuey as Near Threatened. The estimated extent of occurrence for H. clara is 6422 km2, a value close to the threshold of 5000 km2 between VU and EN. Therefore, we recommend keeping H. clara as EN, until new evidence based on population size and trend could support a change from this category to VU. We found that 14 % of the extent of occurrence for H. clara and H. hatuey, and 33 % for H. trinitatis, are within protected areas. However, the ongoing extensive deforestation in Hispaniola, coupled with the lack of protection in Haiti, could cause a decrease of the extent of occurrence of H. hatuey in the future.


Hypolestes Ecological niche model Species distribution model Hypolestidae Odonata Damselfly 



We thank Chris Hassall, R. Isabel Aguirre-Alcolea and two anonymous referees for their valuables comments and suggestions on early versions of the manuscript. YT-C was supported by a project Ciencia y Conciencia funded by Universidad de Oriente (Project Code 9617) and a WDA Conservation Research Grant. MOL-C is funded by the European Commission, through an Individual European Marie Curie Fellowship (PIEFGA-2013-626504—ODOGEN). AC-R was funded by grants from the Spanish Ministry with competences in science, which included FEDER Funds (CGL2008-02799 and CGL2010-11959E).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10841_2016_9862_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (359 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 359 kb)
10841_2016_9862_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (347 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 347 kb)


  1. Alayo P (1968) Las libélulas de Cuba. Torreia 2:1–102Google Scholar
  2. Collins SD, McIntyre NE (2015) Modeling the distribution of odonates: a review. Freshw Sci. doi: 10.1086/682688 Google Scholar
  3. Corbet PS (2004) Dragonflies, behavior and ecology of odonata. Harley Books, EssexGoogle Scholar
  4. Corbet PS (2006) Forest as habitats for dragonflies (Odonata). In: Cordero-Rivera A (ed) Forest and dragonflies. Pensoft, Sofia, pp 13–36Google Scholar
  5. Cuevas-Yáñez K, Rivas M, Muñoz J, Córdoba-Aguilar A (2015) Conservation status assessment of Paraphlebia damselflies in Mexico. Insect Conserv Divers. doi: 10.1111/icad.12132 Google Scholar
  6. Daigle J (1993) A checklist of the Odonata of the Dominican Republic by province. Bull Am Odonatol 1(4):65–69Google Scholar
  7. De Almeida MC, Côrtes LG, De Marco P (2010) New records and a niche model for the distribution of two Neotropical damselflies: Schistolobos boliviensis and Tuberculobasis inversa (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Insect Conserv Divers 3:252–256. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2010.00096.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elith J, Graham CH, Anderson RP et al (2006) Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data. Ecography 29:129–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FAO (2010) Global forest resources assessment 2010. Main report. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  10. Flint O (1996) The Odonata of Cuba, with a report on a recent collection and checklist of the cuban species. Cocuyo 5:17–20Google Scholar
  11. Flint O, Bastardo RH, Perez-Gelabert DR (2006) Distribution of the Odonata of the Dominican Republic. Bull Am Odonatol 9:67–84Google Scholar
  12. Fontenla JL (2003) Libélulas (Insecta: Odonata) de Sierra de los Órganos. Cocuyo 13:28–29Google Scholar
  13. Hassall C (2012) Predicting the distributions of under-recorded Odonata using species distribution models. Insect Conserv Divers 5:192–201. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2011.00150.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hijmans RJ, Guarino L, Cruz M, Rojas E (2001) Computer tools for spatial analysis of plant genetic resources data: 1. DIVA-GIS. Plant Genet Resour Newsl 127:15–19Google Scholar
  15. Hijmans RJ, Cameron SE, Parra JL et al (2005) Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global and land areas. Int J Climatol 24:1965–1978. doi: 10.1002/joc.1276 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. IUCN (2012) IUCN red list categories and criteria: version 3.1, second. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  17. IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee (2016) Guidelines for using the IUCN red list categories and criteria. Version 12. Prepared by the standards and petitions subcommittee. Downloadable from
  18. IUCN, UNEP-WCMC (2014) The world database on protected areas (WDPA), (Sept 2015 version). UNEP-WCMC, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  19. Kalkman VJ, Clausnitzer V, Dijkstra K-DB, Orr AG (2008) Global diversity of dragonflies (Odonata) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:351–363. doi: 10.1007/s10750-007-9029-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Merow C, Smith MJ, Silander JA (2013) A practical guide to MaxEnt for modeling species’ distributions: what it does, and why inputs and settings matter. Ecography 36:1058–1069. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.07872.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nóbrega CC, De Marco P (2011) Unprotecting the rare species: a niche-based gap analysis for odonates in a core Cerrado area. Divers Distrib 17:491–505. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00749.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Paulson DR (2004) Critical species of Odonata in the Neotropics regional definition state of the art. Int J Odonatol 7:163–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Paulson DR (2009) Hypolestes clara. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN red list of threatened species. Version 2012.2. Accessed 22 June 2013
  24. Pearson RG, Raxworthy CJ, Nakamura M, Peterson AT (2007) Predicting species distributions from small numbers of occurrence records: a test case using cryptic geckos in Madagascar. J Biogeogr 34:102–117. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01594.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Peterson AT, Soberón J (2012) Species distribution modeling and ecological niche modeling: getting the concepts right. Nat Coservação 10:1–6Google Scholar
  26. Peterson AT, Soberón J, Pearson RG et al (2011) Ecological niches and geographic distributions. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  27. Phillips SJ, Anderson RP, Schapire RE (2006) Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecol Model 190:231–259. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2005.03.026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Radosavljevic A, Anderson RP (2014) Making better MAXENT models of species distributions: complexity, overfitting and evaluation. J Biogeogr 41:629–643. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12227 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Riley SJ, DeGloria SD, Elliot R (1999) A terrain ruggedness index that quantifies topographic heterogeneity. Intermt J Sci 5:23–27Google Scholar
  30. Rissler LJ, Apodaca JJ (2007) Adding more ecology into species delimitation: ecological niche models and phylogeography help define cryptic species in the black salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus). Syst Biol 56:924–942. doi: 10.1080/10635150701703063 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Sahlén G (1999) The impact of forestry on dragonfly diversity in central Sweden. Int J Odonatol 2:177–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shcheglovitova M, Anderson RP (2013) Estimating optimal complexity for ecological niche models: a jackknife approach for species with small sample sizes. Ecol Model 269:9–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Simaika JP, Samways MJ, Kipping J et al (2013) Continental-scale conservation prioritization of African dragonflies. Biol Conserv 157:245–254. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2012.08.039 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Simard M, Pinto N, Fisher JB, Baccini A (2011) Mapping forest canopy height globally with spaceborne lidar. J Geophys Res Biogeosci. doi: 10.1029/2011JG001708 Google Scholar
  35. Torres-Cambas Y, Fonseca-Rodríguez R (2011) Sex ratio, survival, and recapture rate in a Cuban population of the damselfly Hypolestes trinitatis (Odonata: Megapodagrionidae). Acta Ethol 14:69–76. doi: 10.1007/s10211-011-0095-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Torres-Cambas Y, Trapero-Quintana A, Lorenzo-Carballa MO et al (2015a) An update on the distribution of threatened odonates species from the greater Antilles. Int J Odonatol 18:89–104. doi: 10.1080/13887890.2014.928241 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Torres-Cambas Y, Lorenzo-Carballa MO, Ferreira S, Cordero-Rivera A (2015b) Hypolestes hatuey sp. nov.: a new species of the enigmatic genus Hypolestes (Odonata, Hypolestidae) from Hispaniola. Zootaxa 4000:207–226CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Trapero-Quintana AD, Naranjo-López C (2003) Revision of the order Odonata in Cuba. Bull Am Odonatol 2:23–40Google Scholar
  39. Warren DL, Glor RE, Turelli M (2010) ENMTools: a toolbox for comparative studies of environmental niche models. Ecography 33:607–611. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2009.06142.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Warren DL, Wright AN, Seifert SN, Shaffer HB (2014) Incorporating model complexity and spatial sampling bias into ecological niche models of climate change risks faced by 90 California vertebrate species of concern. Divers Distrib 20:334–343. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12160 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wellenreuther M, Larson KW, Svensson EI (2012) Climatic niche divergence or conservatism? environmental niches and range limits in ecologically similar damselflies. Ecology 93:1353–1366CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Westfall MJ (1976) Taxonomic relationships of Diceratobasis macrogaster (Selys) and Phylolestes ethelae Christiansen of the West Indies as revealed by their larvae. Odonatologica 5:65–76Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y ExactasUniversidad de OrienteSantiago de CubaCuba
  2. 2.Departamento de Bioloxía Animal, Bioloxía Vexetal e Ecoloxía, Facultade de CienciasUniversidade de A CoruñaA CoruñaSpain
  3. 3.Institute of Integrative BiologyUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  4. 4.ECOEVO Lab, Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía AnimalUniversidade de VigoPontevedraSpain

Personalised recommendations