Our team on Desroches unearthed an exciting discovery recently!
Our Conservation Officer, Craig, found exuviae of a mystery dragonfly on blades of grass by the tortoise wallowing pool. As he watched the adult dragonflies zipping about the pool, he attempted to catch one to identify it, but they were too quick and would not stay still long enough for closer inspection. Craig was finally able to net one a couple of months later and confirm that this dragonfly was, in fact, the wonderfully named Ghost Duskdarter (Zyxomma petiolatum)!
According to our in-house experts, this is the first Seychelles record of Ghost Duskdarter outside of the inner islands that we are aware of. Described by John Bowler in his book, 'The Wildlife of Seychelles', the Ghost Duskdarter is known for its ‘rapid, darting flight low over water’ and is ‘rarely seen perched, so is hard to observe closely.’ These wonderful insects are also identifiable by their apple-green eyes and incredibly cryptic movements.
Between this and the discovery of Marsh Bluetails (Ischnura senegalensis) on the same pool this year, it would appear that an important micro-habitat is forming on Desroches, given that the wallowing pool is the only pool of its kind here!
Island Conservation Society