Caucasian goldenring (Cordulegaster mzymtae)

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderOdonata
FamilyCordulegastridae
GenusCordulegaster (1)
SizeMale length: 64 - 67 mm (2)
Male length of abdomen: 49 - 51 mm
Male hindwing: 40 - 42 mm

The Caucasian goldenring is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

Also referred to as spiketails and biddies, golden-ringed dragonflies (Cordulegastridae) are large black dragonflies with generally bright yellow rings more or less encircling their abdomen, depending of the species (2) (3). The Caucasian goldenring (Cordulegaster mzymtae) is one of the darker species of the genus and shows only small yellow marks on the abdomen, although it exhibits the typical thoracic yellow bands of most of the golden-ringed dragonflies. It has large green eyes. Males and females are similar in appearance. Reliable separation from the other Turkish golden-ringed species, C. insignis, is mainly possible through the more squarish and flat back part of the occipital triangle (ovoid and swollen in insignis) and its greenish eyes (generally bluish in insignis), supporting its status of distinct species (2).

The Caucasian goldenring is confined to the easternmost margin of the Black Sea, with old records from Georgia and adjacent Russia, and more recent records from Turkey (1).

The Caucasian goldenring is found along mountain brooks and rivulets in the cloudy/rainy forest zone (1).

Virtually nothing has been recorded of the Caucasian goldenring’s biology and behaviour, but this may be inferred from what is known about C. bidentata, which has a close structural morphology and habitat. The eggs hatch should 2 to 11 weeks after egg deposition and the larval period should last two to six years, depending on the altitude. It should include around 15 stadia. After metamorphosis and emergence, adults, which are, like other Odonata species, generalised, opportunistic feeders, feed on flying insects. Males don't establish territories but patrol over long distances along river edges, searching for reproductive females, varying their route and standing quite often on herbs or branches exposed to the sun. Females are generally hidden and are much more scarcely observed than males. They lay by driving their eggs in the sandy sediments of rivers and brooks through a rhythmic vertical flight, distinctive of golden-ringed dragonflies (4).

The Caucasian goldenrings' present status in Georgia is unknown, but there appear to be no immediate threats in Turkey. However, water pollution and extraction for human use pose potential threats in the future, particularly through the inclusion of Turkey within the European Union and subsequent economic development, which would likely result in the use of less traditional human activities (1).

There are currently no conservation measures targeting the Caucasian goldenring.

Authenticated (18/12/2006) by Jean-Pierre Boudot, CNRS, Université Henri Poincaré Nancy I, France.

  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Dijkstra, K.D.B. and Lewington, R. (2006) Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. British Wildlife Publishing, Gillingham.
  3. Dragonflies and Damselflies in Languedoc (September, 2006)
    http://www.ghmahoney.org.uk/insects/dflyl_corga.htm
  4. Grand, D. and Boudot, J.P. (2006) Les Libellules de France, Belgique et Luxembourg. Editions Parthénope, Mèze.