Somatochlora brevicincta (Quebec Emerald)BC conservation rank: S3. Blue List. Down-listed from the S1 originally given the species when it was first discovered in the province (four localities in 2000, ten by 2001, but not collected subsequently in the surveys).
Description: Similar to S. albicincta, but its abdomen lacks rings or they are reduced to small spots on the sides between segments 3 to 7; and the top of segment 10 is black. The thorax sides are brassy green with a white bar, its ends pointed. Female has reddish hairs on the hind margin of its head. Male's appendages, fig. 13j; vulvar lamina, fig. 14j. Length: male 48 mm, female 45 mm.
Global range: Quebec east to Newfoundland, south to Nova Scotia and Maine; British Columbia (Catling et al. 2005). Undoubtedly ranges across the Canadian boreal forest, but not yet recorded from Alberta to Ontario. Faunal element: Southern Boreal (see Appendix 2).
BC Distribution: Central Rocky and Cariboo mountains near McBride north to Williston Lake (northern Rocky Mountain trench); central BC plateau west of Williston Lake.
Biology: Rare. First discovered in BC in 2000, several thousand kilometres west of Quebec (where it was originally discovered) and the rest of its range in the Atlantic provinces and Maine. In BC, this species prefers mossy fens, especially patterned ones (Wf 08) with shallow pools (flarks) dominated by short sedges. It flies with S. whitehousei in these habitats, but is much less abundant.
BC flight period: mid June to early September; the few records are from July and early August.
Management and protection considerations: Even in ideal habitat sites, S. brevicincta is rare. It is difficult to separate from its more common congeners on the wing, and at a place such as the patterned fen on Bell Mountain near McBride, where several were captured in 2000, 20 or so S. whitehousei had to be netted for each S. brevicincta counted.
Like other rare or uncommon northern Somatochlora species, S. brevicincta lives in habitats that are widespread, but difficult to sample because of their remoteness from roads. For this reason, it may be probably relatively more abundant than records indicate, although the known distribution restricted to areas not far from the western slopes of the Rockies is curious. Nevertheless, it was certainly recorded in only a fraction of the patterned fens sampled. These fen habitats are sensitive to changes in drainage created by road building and other construction, siltation resulting from logging and other disturbances. In general, peatland pools should be managed to maintain water quality and water table stability. Development that may affect the hydrology of a catchment area should be managed to minimize impacts.
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