ODONATA SPECIES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     6th November 2023        
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Context: Recently, during the two-day Odonata survey that began in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), approximately 50 Odonata species were identified on the first day.

Odonata Species

  • About: Odonata is an insect order categorized into three distinct groups: Anisoptera (comprising dragonflies), Zygoptera (which includes damselflies), and Anisozygoptera (a relict group with only two known living species).
  • Order of Insects: Odonata stands as one of the ancient orders of insects, with a long evolutionary history.
  • Diversity of Odonata: Odonata is a highly diverse group, with over 6,000 known species exhibiting various characteristics.
  • Global Distribution: Odonata species are found worldwide, ranging from the tropics, where they are most abundant and diverse, to the boreal forests of Siberia and North America. 
  • Diversity in India: In India, Odonata is remarkably diverse, with more than 500 known species residing in the country.
  • Habitats: Odonata species inhabit a wide range of environments, primarily freshwater settings like ponds, rivers, and lakes. They are typically associated with bodies of water during their larval stage.

Features of Odonata

  • They have minute antennae.
  • Their eyes are extremely large, occupying most of the head.
  • Odonata possess two pairs of transparent membranous wings with numerous small veins.
  • Their abdomen is long and slender.


Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR)

  • Location: Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu, spanning 321 sq. km. at the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Nestled on the Northeastern and Northwestern slopes of the Nilgiri Hills within the Western Ghats.
  • An integral part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, India's first Biosphere Reserve.
  • Border Shared With: Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) to the West, Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) to the North, Nilgiris North Division to the South and East, and Gudalur Forest Division to the South West.
  • Terrain: Characterized by undulating terrain, with elevations ranging from 960m to 1266m.
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