The Studied Species

M. splendens is globally acknowledged as being vulnerable (Boudot 2006). This large anisopteran belonging to the Corduliidae family is the only European Macromia species. It occurs in Southeast France, Spain, and Portugal (Dommanget and Grand 1996) and inhabits highly localized biotopes (Cordero Rivera 2000). It appears to be distributed in three main groups of locations: France, Northwest Iberia, and Southwest Iberia. Other congeneric species are highly abundant and show more continuous distributions. Such a pattern led Lieftinck (1965) to suggest that M. splendens is a Tertiary relict. However, its rareness might also be due to the fact that its habitat has been quite inaccessible to researchers. Pollution and habitat destruction are the main problems for the conservation of this species (Sahlen et al. 2004; Ocharan et al. 2006, and references therein), also in NW Iberia (Cordero Rivera 2000).

O. curtisii is classified as Nearly Threatened by the IUCN Red List (Boudot et al. 2006). This member of the Corduliidae family mainly occurs in the Iberian Peninsula, and in the Western and Southern France. In addition, there are records from North and West Morocco (Jacquemin and Boudot 1999) as well as from Northern France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Western Germany, Switzerland, Northern and central Italy. This species is now extinct in Great Britain (d'Aguilar and Dommanget 1998). O. curtisii usually inhabits large rivers, preferring rapid waters. Interestingly, it is abundant in almost all Galician rivers (Northwest Spain, Azpilicueta Amorin et al. 2007). Therefore, a certain level of gene flow is expected.

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