World Odonata List

iNat Odonaters (ie @jcabbott @greglasley @briang @jimjohnson @nlblock @aguilita @vicfazio3 @sambiology @scottking @ericisley @cordulegaster58obliqua),

I've been thinking alot about the value of having global coverage in our taxonomies for resolving frustrating regional taxonomic conflicts like this.

And @muir reminded me that there is a World Odonata List.

Should we be using that rather than the Checklist of North American Odonata as our primary external taxonomy source for Odonata on iNat? Since Paulson is involved in both it seems like they would be pretty compatible?

If so, I can help bring iNat's taxonomy in line with the World Odonata List.

If anyone wants to help, has extra time, and enjoys mind-numbing repetative work, there's about 100 iNat names ('Mystery iNat Synonyms') that are not on World Odonata List that I haven't been able to automatically match. If anyone wants to help me manually track down the 'Valid World Odonata Name' corresponding to each and fill in the second column of the table accordingly I'd be hugely appreciative:

Also - let me know if you're not interested in Odonata taxonomy discussions (not for everyone I know) and I'll refrain from mentioning you in the future. Likewise, let me know if I didn't mention you but you'd like to be involved in future Odonata taxonomy discussions like this.



Here's a figure for my proposal on how to identify 'top odonata identifiers' that I referred to in my comment below

And here's an approach that weights regional expertise more strongly alla jakob's comment below

Posted on September 21, 2017 06:01 PM by loarie loarie


Paulson is the chair of the nomenclature committee of the DSA (Dragonfly Society of the Americas) so he more of less keeps that list up to date. Since the world list is also something he worked on, are there discrepancies between the two for species on both lists? I was not aware of any. @jcabbott do you know of differences?

Posted by greglasley over 6 years ago

and Scott, I'd be happy to try to resolve the "mystery iNat name" with the current world list when we figure out which way we are going here. Many of the mystery names have been superseded by current North America names already. I assume the common names that exist for North America (and some other areas) will remain as they are.

Posted by greglasley over 6 years ago

thanks greg that would be a big help. Yes, the common names will remain the same (as will conservation statuses) if we swap to the new scientific names. I think a lot of those mystery names come from IUCN, others are probably just database cruft that accumulated over the years

Posted by loarie over 6 years ago

There should be no difference between the OC NA List and the Schorr & Paulson World List for North America. Dennis and I regularly, along with others, work to keep several versions of the World List current. I am actually actively creating an Odonata Species File and bringing a handful of odonatologists from around the world that maintain databases, together. This will not only provide a single place for up-to-date taxonomy with synonyms, but also have literature, distribution and much more associated with it.

Posted by jcabbott over 6 years ago

actually you may not realize it, but the world list is in OC and searchable.

Posted by jcabbott over 6 years ago

Thanks John. Scott, FYI, my cable modem just went down so I'm out of commission till tomorrow at least. Using a neighbors wifi at their house at the moment.

Posted by greglasley over 6 years ago

Awesome - thanks John, so you'd be supportive of iNat syncing to the World List? Great that doing so won't cause any deviations from OC NA. If so and now one else objects - I can kick off that process (as soon as we sort out those 100 Mystery Synonyms!)

Posted by loarie over 6 years ago

Happy to help on the mind-numbing repetitive work.

Posted by muir over 6 years ago

@jcabbott where I find differences, which website list is the one to use? For example, from Scott's link above on mystery names, I looked for Coeliccia pracritii vs prakritii. On the Puget Sound list, it is praKritii. On OC, it is praCritii (

Or am I using/searching the lists incorrectly?

Posted by muir over 6 years ago

Hello, all. Matt has asked me to comment. There are still typographical errors in the online Odonata World List, and I am trying to correct them whenever I learn about them. For example, I just learned from this exchange that Coeliccia prakritii was incorrect, an orthographic mistake that found its way into the literature, and I have corrected it to pracritii. Little by little these errors are being worked out of the list, but some are still present, I'm sure. The North American list should be good and up to date except for one new species just added that I haven't added to the list on the Slater Museum website yet.

I assume we are only talking about scientific names here. We have an established set of common (English) names for "North American" (continental US + Canada) species, but those names are not established elsewhere in this hemisphere, no matter what names you have seen in Flickr photo sites, etc. Other English-speaking countries in the Old World have their own sets of English names, and a few differ from our NA names, just as we have both Common Loon and Great Northern Diver among the bird. But it's much worse in odonates, as each of several countries in Asia have come up with their own lists that aren't the same. So far there has been no serious attempt to try to standardize English names across countries, and it may be too late.

I would be happy to look at your 100 Mystery Synonyms to see if I can work them out, as I have been working with the world list for a long time. If whoever has that list could send it to me, I will begin to try to straighten it out.

Posted by dennispaulson over 6 years ago

Fantastic - thanks Dennis. And yes just talking about scientific names. Really appreciate your advice + work building/maintaining/sharing these lists

Posted by loarie over 6 years ago

I'm on the road to Wisconsin, but yes we can work out a way to sync to OC world list if you would like. with regards to Matt's question as to which list is correct when there are differences...both will invariably have errors, but we work together to try and minimize those. I'm happy to help with the mystery list as well, though I suspect Dennis will have it sorted out before I'm back in town.

Posted by jcabbott over 6 years ago

wow - the Mystery Synonyms are complete - thanks very much Dennis et al. for working on those. @dennispaulson, will you update with the changes you've noted? Or should we work with the version thats up there now and be ware of the caveats in your notes?

Posted by loarie over 6 years ago

The world list is updated as of 21 Sep, Scott, and Dennis made a nice acknowledgement to iNat on the front page.

Posted by greglasley over 6 years ago

Ok looks like Dennis did update the World Odonata List as 197, I used that as the source and iNat Ode taxonomy is now synced up. More specifically, by iNat Ode taxonomy, I mean all extant descendants of the order Odonata down to rank species (Like our World Odonata List reference, we're ignoring extinct species, hybrids and are agnostic about what happens below rank species - ie ssp). As for which taxonomic nodes are included in our taxonomy in between Order and Species, I pulled families and genera from the World Odonata List. And while World Odonata List doesn't include suborders, I took the liberty of also including 3 suborders for Dragonflies (Suborder Anisoptera), Damselflies (Suborder Zygoptera) and the enigmatic Family Epiophlebiidae (Suborder Anisozygoptera). We'll just have to work to keep things in sync as the World Odonata List evolves.

One thing thats kind of cool, is I activated this new feature we're experimenting with where I can mark the Odonata node on the tree as 'complete' meaning that all Ode species are accounted for in iNat. If you go here if says '

1,648 of 6,273 total species observed' above the seasonality graph. Also if you click on the 'Trends' tab, you'll see 'Wanted' (ie these 6,273-1,648 species we haven't observed) and 'Discoveries' showing iNat firsts like

1,648 of 6,273 is >25% of all species which isn't bad considering how diverse this group is in remote places. Nice collective work Odonaters!
Also looping in @robert_taylor (let me know if there's any ode experts out there I left out)

Posted by loarie over 6 years ago

tagging KD @xkd

Posted by muir over 6 years ago

tagging a few more folks who are involved with and/or make numerous odonate submissions to iNat: @finatic @erlandreflingnielsen @beschwar @treichard @upupamartin @dianaterryhibbitts @bryanpfeiffer @colindjones @blustm @nbdragonflyguy @gpstewart @aredoubles @pbedell @mike_moore

Posted by greglasley over 6 years ago

I'm interested in the discussion but an a neophyte with odonata taxonomy. But this is a great excuse to learn more.

Posted by finatic over 6 years ago
Posted by jakob over 6 years ago

Hi folks,
We last updated iNat with World Odonata List (WOL) v.197. Since they're now on v.212 maybe time for an update?

Here's the 'mystery synonyms' (ie names in iNat from v.197 that I can't match to v.212). We'll need to be able to match these to move forward.
Aciagrion heterosticta
Hemistigma albipuncta
Anormogomphus kiritschenkoi
Aciagrion congoense
Aciagrion karamoja
Megalagrion amaurodytum
Hemistigma affinis

These are 'taxonomic swaps' (meaning we inactivate the former iNat from v.197 taxon and move everything to the latter WOL v.212 taxon)
Acanthagrion peruvianum -> Acanthagrion floridense
Aeshna lucia -> Aeshna mixta
Aeshna osiliensis -> Aeshna serrata
Paragomphus mariannae -> Cornigomphus mariannae
Gomphidia interruptistria -> Gomphidictinus perakensis
Hemistigma ouvirandrae -> Hemistigma affine
Heteragrion atrolineatum -> Heteragrion calendulum
Ischnura fountainei -> Ischnura fountaineae
Anectothemis apicalis -> Trithemis apicalis

And these are 'new taxa' meaning that they weren't in iNat from v.197 before and are apparently new to WOL v.212
Drepanosticta rahmani
Heteragrion tatama
Coeliccia bhriulieci
Coeliccia duytan
Coeliccia rolandorum
Nososticta nicobarica
Aciagrion heterostictum
Megalagrion nigrolineatum
Oligoaeschna sirindhornae
Anormogomphus kiritshenkoi
Gomphidictinus tongi
Perigomphus basicornis
Hemistigma albipunctum
Hemistigma affine

Any objections to these changes?

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Thanks to dennispaulson for sorting out the mystery synonyms. I'll go ahead an make the following updates to bring iNat in-line with WOL v.212:

New taxa:
Drepanosticta rahmani

Heteragrion tatama
Coeliccia bhriulieci
Coeliccia duytan
Coeliccia rolandorum
Nososticta nicobarica
Megalagrion nigrolineatum
Oligoaeschna sirindhornae
Gomphidictinus tongi
Perigomphus basicornis

Acanthagrion peruvianum => Acanthagrion floridense
Aeshna lucia => Aeshna mixta
Aeshna osiliensis => Aeshna serrata
Paragomphus mariannae => Cornigomphus mariannae
Gomphidia interruptistria => Gomphidictinus perakensis
Hemistigma ouvirandrae => Hemistigma affine
Heteragrion atrolineatum => Heteragrion calendulum
Ischnura fountainei => Ischnura fountaineae
Anectothemis apicalis => Trithemis apicalis
Aciagrion heterosticta => Aciagrion heterostictum
Hemistigma albipuncta => Hemistigma albipunctum
Anormogomphus kiritschenkoi => Anormogomphus kiritshenkoi
Aciagrion congoense => Aciagrion africanum
Aciagrion karamoja => Aciagrion heterostictum
Megalagrion amaurodytum => Megalagrion koelense
Hemistigma affinis => Hemistigma affine

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

ok iNat is now up to date with WOL v.212- we now have 6,274 ode species

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Thank you @dennispaulson and Scott for your time and knowkedge on this!

Posted by muir about 6 years ago

Hi folks,

In case anyone is interested, I wanted to share what I’m doing as the self-appointed Odonata Taxon Curator to keep iNaturalist in sync with WOL. I last synced iNat to WOL v.212 a few days ago, but looks like WOL is up to v.214 so I’ll use that as an example to explain what I'm doing:

Check for discrepancies between iNat and WOL
Step1: Download WOL v.214 and use your spreadsheet of choice to export the first sheet of the xls file as world_odonata_214.csv
Step2: Run something like this ruby script to compare the WOL CSV to the iNaturalist taxonomy (using the iNat API).

Doing so yields:

These are species in WOL, not in iNat...
    Drepanosticta gazelle
    Leptogomphus sii
These are species in WOL, not in iNat...
    Hemistigma affinis
    Leptogomphus mariae
    Aciagrion karamoja

Step 3: Manually create new taxa for the species ' in WOL, not in iNat', I made:
Drepanosticta gazelle
Leptogomphus sii

Step 4: Find corresponding valid WOL names for the ‘species in WOL, not in iNat’. WOL itself is a good reference for this as is asking dennispaulson directly.

Then Manually create the taxon swaps for each. I made:

Hemistigma affinis => Hemistigma affine

Leptogomphus mariae => Leptogomphus coomansi

Aciagrion karamoja => Aciagrion heterostictum

Now, with those changes made, iNat is up to date with WOL v.214!

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Also, I wanted to quickly summarize the decisions that I’ve been using this journal post reach with you all:

What taxonomic reference to use?
We’re using WOL which is explicitly versioned (ie v.214) and includes all extant Odonata families, genera, and species in the genus. Although they are not explicitly included in WOL, I added nodes for suborders representing Damselflies, Dragonflies and the enigmatic Family Epiophlebiidae (Suborder Anisozygoptera) since there’s a lot of IDs on iNat at rank suborder and it would be disruptive to remove them. We are not intentionally deviating from WOL with any special exceptions (which makes things really simple).

How often do we update iNat to WOL?
I’m advocating we proactively do this every 3 months and reactively if someone brings a discrepancy to our attention (e.g. “I’m trying to post an observation of species X which is in WOL but not in iNat - why?”)

Who are the taxon curators and for how long?
The only people who can change the taxonomy of Odonata on iNaturalist are now the Ode taxon curators. The role of the taxon curators is to help facilitate reaching consensus on any decisions affecting the taxonomy of Odonata on iNaturalist (as I’m doing here) and also doing the tedious work of altering the taxonomy (as I just described above). We can have multiple taxon curators (ideally 1 to 2 more) and I’m proposing we serve for the duration of a year (starting now, but officially through 2018). Chime in if you want to be an ode taxon curator - but please do so if you have time to help me with the roles mentioned above.

Note on dispute resolution process...
So far, no one has objected to any decisions discussed on this thread. I’d like to encourage a spirit of rough consensus towards decision making. But I’d also like to lay out a more formal process for resolving any disagreements in case we encounter a situation where it’s not clear what the sense of the group is down the road. For example, suppose some felt very strongly that we deviate from WOL and others that we don’t, or some felt very strongly that we update every 3 months and others that we update every month. How do we resolve such disputes?

I propose a vote among a ‘2018 ode working group’ composed of top ode identifiers. I’m proposing that we define ‘top ode identifiers’ as users in the top (90%) quantile based on number of improving IDs and number of species represented by those improving IDs made over the last 12 months. This ensures that the top ode identifiers are recently active (last 12-months), have lots of experience (number of IDs) adding accurate (improving) identifications and that their expertise spans a wide breadth of species (number of species represented by those improving IDs). I used this approach to make a graph I embedded at the top of this thread (and also linked to here) to identifies the following 27 users:


I propose this ‘2018 ode working group’ is in effect for the next 12 months. If there was a need to vote, we'd ping the working group here with a link to an online voting survey and a deadline and make a formal decision based on the result. Does this sound good to everyone?

Again, hoping there's no need for anything so formal, but I think its good to have a transparent process for resolving disputes laid out in advance in case we need it...

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Hi Scott, sounds all fine to me, and nothing Ode-specific to add. I would suggest, however, that such a working group considers geographic bias. Currently, iNat is heavily dominated by users from North America, so by the sheer number of observations from that region, the top identifiers are also likely to come from North America. We might want to compartmentalize users into, let's say 5 or so large regions (eg North America, Neotropics, Palaearctic, Africa, tropical Asia, Australia), and select the top identifiers from each of these regions.

I'm proposing this not as a mere quota system, but to increase taxonomic expertise covering each region.

Posted by jakob about 6 years ago

Hi, Scott. Just two comments about your very thorough treatment of this.

1) Epiophlebia is now considered in the suborder Epiophlebioptera, separated from Anisozygoptera.

2) You may have missed Leptogomphus schieli, which I just added to the list along with L. sii and Drepanosticta gazelle.

My revisions in the list are made usually as quickly as I receive papers with new species and taxonomic changes, although if I'm traveling or otherwise heavily occupied, there may be a delay. Sometimes this is as often as once a week or more. As you say, it seems sensible to revise the list in iNat at much longer intervals--say 3 months--but insert a revision of there is a question about the name for a submitted iNat record.

I think Jakob's idea is a good one.

And one more comment. No one else is working on the world list, so any questions you or others have about it should probably come to me first and directly through email ( rather than through iNat. John Abbott and I are discussing a more expanded Odonata Species List, but so far it's only a plan.


Posted by dennispaulson about 6 years ago

I really like the idea of Taxon Curators instead of anyone who asks to be a site curator having the ability to do so. This was a very good idea.

Posted by finatic about 6 years ago

Hi Jakob,

Good point. There's definitely a North American bias. Here's the results of the same procedure done to identify top-identifiers done separately for each continent. Names in bold are also global top-identifiers:
fausto, alexminico, purperlibel, nicolascatassi, susanne-kasimir, erlandreflingnielsen, inasiebert, cattin, jakob, redhat, jeremybarker, flight69, briang, eric_v, benoitnabholz, alessandro_bergamo, exonie, brunodurand, francescagraziani, carlacorazza, martingrimm, nicz, heldercardoso, fero, paulcools, pasqualebuonpane, markuslilje, savo, neomorphus, leibele
robert_taylor, markuslilje, erlandreflingnielsen, gawie, briang, jakob
reiner, erlandreflingnielsen, richardyank, vicfazio3, dustaway, ianmcmillan, jon_sullivan, waterpenny1, azgulo, lek, marcelfinlay, lisa_bennett, briang, russ87
-=North America=-
briang, nlblock, vicfazio3, jimjohnson, greglasley, jimlem, joshualincoln, ericisley, aguilita, lukeberg, joebartok, aztekium, cordulegaster58obliqua, mikef451, cmcheatle, mdillon444, sambiology, ehjalmarson, scottking, ricknirschl, gpstewart, odonatanb, nbdragonflyguy, beschwar, thomasabenson, mikeburrell, birdbug62, colindjones, jemredwood
briang, big-simonchan, marcelfinlay, budak, aru, wkcheng71, lenachow, erlandreflingnielsen, harumkoh, chalita, gancw1, venus5026, rajibmaulick, sohkamyung, brunodurand, plaintiger, prosenjit, scottking, tommyswift, sunnetchan, oldman19510, vijaybarve
-=South America=-
briang, erlandreflingnielsen, mateohernandezschmidt, jimjohnson, nlblock, jujurenoult, jaykeller, juan_carlos_caicedo_hernandez, arnoldwijker, greglasley

The fact that the top-identifiers for Oceania (reiner) and Africa (robert_taylor) weren't included definitely doesn't seem right.

What would be a better approach? Also including the top 1 IDer from each continent if they aren't represented in the global top IDers? Only including top 5 IDers from each continent. rather than top IDers globally?

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Thanks Dennis for all the feedback -

(1) re: Epiophlebioptera. I updated the suborder name:, thanks!

(2) Ugh my mistake! added: thanks!

Also thanks re: comments on time to update and how to best contact you!

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

What about a team composed of the global top 3 IDers plus the top 3 IDers from each of the regions (skipping the global top 3 if present in the regional group)?

Posted by jakob about 6 years ago

Ok - I included a new graph at the top (and linked to here. Its top 3 IDers by continent and top 5 (rather than 3) IDers globally. This does weight it a little more global (less regional) than what you proposed (specifically, it includes greglasley and jimjohnson). Thoughts?

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Looks good to me. Maybe one final question for the ode folks on iNat: would these lists miss out some ode specialists in terms of their taxonomic expertise, ie who are iNat users, but not top IDers? To put it the other way around: should such a "taxonomic board" try to incorporate additional expertise? (no offence to the top IDers intended!)

Posted by jakob about 6 years ago

(what would be a question for the odd folks on iNat?)

Posted by jakob about 6 years ago

Hi Jakob, I just wanted to re-emphasize that the role of this working group would be dispute resolution if and when a conflict arises. Not necessarily lending taxonomic expertise. I think its important in the spirit of the site that disputes are resolved in a way that's representative of the iNat community and is a meritocracy based on community activity. I also think its important that the process for coming up with this group is objective (rather than subjective) for transparency's sake. These are reason's I'm a fan of using some a-priori system of drawing from top-IDers to select this working group.

Nonetheless, I agree that taxonomic expertise is most important for actually guiding taxonomic decisions (here we have an extreme case of this since we're using dennispaulson's list!). There's nothing to prevent taxon curators and the community from deferring to taxonomic experts under the approach I've outlined here, but I think the extent that the working group's role is narrowly restricted to dispute resolution and not necessarily intertwined with lending taxonomic expertise would actually be healthy.

But curious to hear what others think

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

@loarie any concern of a Raymond Hoser type character becoming a top IDer? This is not a specific concern to odes, but if you're working out a model to apply across iNat, it seems like credibility and functional relationships with taxonomists would help avoid someone unhelpful like that from participating in a working group. So an alternative to your objective model is for those with external taxonomic expertise (in this case, Dennis and John?) to select the working group from iNat users.

Posted by muir about 6 years ago

There's always a risk of any working group being composed of members who will make non-optimal decisions. I guess it comes down to balancing the values of meritocracy, objectivity & community-representation in decision making vs. external third-party reputation. My feeling is that iNaturalist is at its core a community-based-peer-production effort like Wikipedia or the Open Source movement and these efforts tend to value the former over the latter in governance and decision making.

But just to re-re-emphasize, the role of this working group would be to settle disputes in a way thats hopefully in the best interest of the iNaturalist effort - not to be a source of taxonomic expertise. Thats a role for people like dennispaulson. I guess I trust that deference to advice from taxonomic experts would be a characteristic of a working group that is well representative of the iNat community, but I suppose I could be naive. On the flip-side though, an external oligarchy of PhDs who aren't very familiar with iNaturalist could also produce decisions that are sub-optimal for the iNat effort, and worse still, I suspect that the iNat community would be less inclined to go along with such decisions and it would be harder to reconcile this approach with the community-based-peer-production philosophy behind the site.

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Hi Scott, just to clarify: I'm all for a taxonomic board based on merit within iNat. If the core is formed by the 5+3*6=23 top IDers, then adding a few "hand selected" taxonomic ode pros would certainly not tilt the voting powers of the group, but potentially bring in valuable expertise critical for assessing conflicting taxonomies. Maybe completely unnecessary because the ode group would already include that expertise, but maybe something to consider for other taxonomic boards.

Posted by jakob about 6 years ago

Our comments just crossed...

Posted by jakob about 6 years ago

I agree that having taxonomic ode pros might produce better outcomes, but my concern is how to most credibly select them? For example:

All top 500 Odonata observers/identifiers vote to appoint 2 additional members tot he working group
First order of business by the working group is to appoint 2 additional members (e.g. 'we all agree that we should invite dennis paulson and john abbot').
iNat admins appoint 2 additional people

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Hence my question to the ode folks!

Posted by jakob about 6 years ago

Jakob, sounds good. I'm somewhat hesitantly tagging the 'top ode identifiers' selected via the regional weighted approach:
@briang @nlblock @erlandreflingnielsen @vicfazio3 @jimjohnson @greglasley @fausto @alexminico @purperlibel @robert_taylor @markuslilje @reiner @richardyank @mateohernandezschmidt @big-simonchan @marcelfinlay
and also from my original global approach
@lukeberg @joshualincoln @jimlem @aguilita @ericisley @cordulegaster58obliqua @aztekium
and an example of some hand selected experts:
@jcabbott @dennispaulson

Hi folks - Apologies for dumping this long thread on you. But we're very interested in any feedback for how to best select a hypothetical working group to resolve hypothetical disputes about managing ode taxonomy on iNaturalist that would:
1) make optimal decisions re: ode taxonomy as applied to the iNaturalist effort
2) make decisions that would be seen as credible by the larger iNat community

I first raised this in this comment above and subsequently discussed with jakob and muir.


Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

Hello folks, first let me say, I am not an expert on Odonata taxonomy, I been trying to learn some basic concepts, still, my knowledge is very limited to a very small area in northeast Mexico, mainly, state of Nuevo León. If there is anything I could do, I will be happy to help, but I feel not up to the task on taxonomy, but basic identification around here. Let me read the whole thread.

Posted by aztekium about 6 years ago

I think the weighted approach sounds reasonable.

A few other iNat users (not necessarily prolific here but are odonate researchers in their respective locales) to consider might be:

-klaasdouwedijkstra - Africa (he doesn't seem to be very active but might be interested with so many taxonomic updates coming from Africa recently)

-prosenjit - Asia

Posted by briangooding about 6 years ago

The weighted approach discussed by Scott and Jakob sounds pretty good to me. I really like that this approach to taxonomy curation on iNat is being explored! Good stuff. :-)

Posted by nlblock about 6 years ago

The parallel amphibian thread made me aware that I probably didn't explain my suggestion properly: if the group is to be composed of the top 5 global IDers plus the top 3 IDers from each of the 6 regions, then I'm suggestions to ignore (skip) the global IDers when selecting from the regional groups. This should lead to a group of 5 global + 3*6 regional = total of 23 members. If there are IDers other than the global top 5 showing up in multiple regions, then you might want to select them only once.

Posted by jakob about 6 years ago

My only comment is that from a data management standpoint, what we have going is horrific. We have multiple lists (Slater Museum, iNat, OC, and more) trying to stay in lock step. That is just not a good way to go in my opinion. As Dennis mentioned, I'm working on creating a Odonata Species File. What I hope will be a single source for the taxonomy of Odonata that can be accessed by multiple sites through an API. I think that is a much more efficient way to go than trying to maintain all these lists separately.

Posted by jcabbott about 6 years ago

jcabbot - an API would definitely make things easier than downloading the XLS from the WOL site and converting it to a CSV

Posted by loarie about 6 years ago

I am also certainly no expert in any region, or an expert on odonata generally - I just try to find and photograph and add as many species as I can wherever I happen to be (and I was lucky to get around a lot for a few years). I think it makes sense to have experts - global and regional - that can have some oversight.
Also a single list source sounds great and really should be applied for all taxa - there seems to be a degree of chaos in the birds too, with a single list as a base, with additions from other lists being accepted either as species or subspecies levels.

Posted by markuslilje about 6 years ago

I would have limited input, only being most familiar with species from south-eastern Australia. Australia has pretty much only had Günther Theischinger in the last 20 years doing taxonomy and things are pretty stable here. I know nothing of nearby odonata (such as from Indonesia or New Guinea).

Posted by reiner about 6 years ago

Hello there, I'm not a taxonomy expert, and I do not deserve to be in a "taxonomic board" but I'm interested in Odonata discussions. I studied Odonate anatomy and I know Odonata of Italy, Mediterranean and Europe, usually I use reliable guides/books to identify dragonflies of the rest of the World on Inat (ex. Dijkstra's for Africa or Paulson's for US), where I' ve no field experience... I can check Odonate of Europe, I will be glad to help...

Posted by fausto about 6 years ago

Hi All,

I just wanted to bring up three African species for discussion.

I was under the impression that Pseudagrion umsingaziense had been demoted to a subspecies As this is in all the current field guides for the region eg Dijkstra and Clausnitzer 2014 and Tarboton and Tarboton 2015

Next, from what I can find it looks like Pseudagrion glaucum is the current name and that P. basicornu is the junior synonym. See:

Lastly for now, Trithemis tropicana appears to still be a valid species separate to T. africana why were these merged?

I look forward to your thoughts

Posted by robert_taylor almost 6 years ago

Hi All,

My references state that Paragomphus fritillarius is restricted to Madagascar and that the mainland African P. sabicus (its' junior synonym being Paragomphus fritillarius ssp. sabicus) has been elevated to species. Do you perhaps know of any new literature which has combined the two species again?

See: and



Posted by robert_taylor over 5 years ago

Hi Robert,
iNat is now updated to WOL v. 249

It looks like WOL v. 249 now has as a species distinct from Paragomphus fritillarius
Similarly, WOL v. 249 has lumped Pseudagrion umsingaziense into P. coeleste as you say
Thanks for raising both of these

However WOL v. 249 still uses P. basicornu over Pseudagrion glaucum
and lumps Trithemis tropicana in with T. africana

I've emailed @dennispaulson to try to get his thoughts on these two remaining issues


Posted by loarie over 5 years ago

Hi folks - now that we have new 'Collection Projects' I've created a new Odonata Taxonomic Working Group project which has a journal that we can use for updates/discussions like this (probably a better place than this, my personal journal). Here's the first post which is about the WOL v. 249 update. Please follow the project if you want to get notified about these posts

Posted by loarie over 5 years ago

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