Dragonflies of the Nakanai Mountains, PNG
Odonatological results of a biodiversity assessment of the Nakanai Mountains, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea in April 2009 are presented. Thirty-two species of Odonata were collected at three different elevations (200–1,700 m) in the Nakanai Mountains and, to a minor extent, on the coastal fringe of Jacquinot Bay. Ten species are recorded from New Britain island for the first time. An undescribed species of Pseudagrion Selys and a species or subspecies of Tetrathemis Brauer new to science were found. Eleven odonate taxa appear to be endemic to the island and some species were only found at particular elevations suggesting that more odonate species await discovery on the island.
Due to the karst topography of the Nakanai Mountains, surface water that is essential for the development of odonate larvae is very scarce in the region. Natural forest cover is crucial for the survival of forest-dwelling habitat specialists, particularly those occupying the limited above-ground aquatic habitats that do exist. The designation of a World Heritage Area in the Nakanai Mountains will be an important first step to protect New Britain's unique aquatic invertebrate fauna from extinction.