ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 6, pp. 405–413. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2008.
Original Russian Text © O.N. Popova, A.Yu. Kharitonov, 2008, published in Ekologiya, 2008, No. 6, pp. 427–435.
A high landscape diversity (mountains and plains,
forest and steppes) and abundance of water bodies and
streams in the Southern Urals provide favorable condi-
tions for the development of an abundant regional fauna
of dragonﬂies and damselﬂies. The study of regional
faunas has acquired special signiﬁcance, since human
activities affect the species composition, distribution,
and abundance of many animal groups. Odonates are a
convenient object for such studies: (1) due to the large
size and speciﬁc behavior of these insects, it is easy to
obtain quantitative data on their populations; (2) due to
the amphibiontic life mode, they are indicators of
changes in different environments; and (3) the 100-year
history of studies on the odonate fauna of the Southern
Urals provides a basis for tracing long-term changes in
the structure of this fauna.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
To date, 64 odonate species have been described in
the Southern Urals, including 39 species of dragonﬂies
(suborder Anisoptera) and 25 species of damselﬂies
(Zygoptera). We did not include
tenef in this list, since it was justly reduced to a syn-
(Belevich, 2005). We collected these
insects mainly in the Eastern Ural geographic province,
near Uvil’dy Lake and neighboring groups of lakes.
On the whole, we surveyed about 90 lakes with adjoin-
ing terrestrial biotopes (below referred to as localities)
and took approximately 1000 qualitative censuses of
In the vicinity of Uvil’dy Lake, relatively rich mate-
rial on the odonate fauna on this key region of the
Southern Urals was collected in late June and July
1906; it provided information on 28 species (Bartenev,
1908). In 1927, Yu.M. Kolosov published data on 23
odonate species based on his own collections made in
the vicinity of Chelyabinsk and collections kept at the
Chelyabinsk Museum of Regional Natural History.
A.Yu. Kharitonov began his studies on odonates of the
Urals in the late 1960s (Kharitonov, 1972, 1975a,
1975b, 1976, 1978, 1988–1990, 1997; Belyshev and
Kharitonov, 1981; Okorokov and Kharitonov, 1971;
etc.). Between 1968 and 1973, he took approximately
500 censuses in 44 localities and collected 8546 adult
insects. Thus, a total of 49 odonate species were
recorded in the region.
V.A. Yanybaeva joined this research in 1992. As a
result of her systematic investigations (Yanybaeva,
1997, 1999–2002, 2004) and episodic studies per-
formed by parasitologists and zoologists of Bashkir
State University (Bayanov, 1974, 1986, 1987; Boev
et al., 1989; Zei-Nechaeva and Bayanov, 1975), the
species list of Southern Ural odonates expanded to 60
species by 2003.
In 2004, we surveyed 15 localities, took approxi-
mately 70 censuses, and collected 1207 specimens (972
adult insects and 235 larvae) of 44 odonate species (see
Yanybaeva et al., 2006). In 2005, more than 100 cen-
suses were taken in 33 localities and 2428 specimens
(2058 adult insects, 242 exuvia, and 128 larvae) of 39
species were collected. In 2006, more than 150 cen-
Interannual Changes in the Fauna of Dragonflies and Damselflies
(Insecta, Odonata) in the Southern Urals
O. N. Popova and A. Yu. Kharitonov
Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences,
ul. Frunze 11, Novosibirsk, 630091 Russia;
Received May 31, 2007
—Data on the abundance and occurrence of 64 odonate species in the Southern Urals are considered.
A comparative analysis of the odonate fauna in the early 20th century, in the 1960s and 1970s, and in the early
21st century is performed. On this basis, it is concluded that its structure has been markedly changing with time,
with the magnitude of these changes being comparable to that of regional faunistic differences. The causes of
these changes are discussed. The apparent enrichment of the odonate fauna is attributed primarily to the appear-
ance of new anthropogenic habitats.
: dragonﬂies, damselﬂies, taxocenosis structure, fauna, ecology, the Southern Urals.