There are 143 species of dragonflies and damselflies in Europe and 39 of these are presently found on Corfu, giving the island one of the highest numbers of species in the Greek archipelago. New species have been added to the fauna quite recently, the Dainty Bluet (Coenagrion scitulum) and the Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii) were reported for the first time in 2012. In addition, the Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) was reported in 2007 and the Bladetail (Lindenia tetraphylla) in 2014, both most likely being recent arrivals to the island. Corfu also holds populations of the "Critically Endangered" Greek Red Damsel (Pyrrhosoma elisabethae) and the "Near Threatened" Eastern Spectre (Caliaeshna microstigma).
The high precipitation and the rich presence of waterways, both permanent and temporary, have created a range of suitable habitats and are factors that can explain the rich dragonfly fauna. However, the increase in the resident population and the growth in tourism, with close to two million visitors every year, have led to habitat loss, especially of coastal wetlands due to the development of hotels and other tourist venues. The increased in water consumption and the increase in the pollution of the island waters are factors that pose serious threats to the fauna in general and to the amphibious one in particular.
The aim of The Dragonflies of Corfu is to raise the awareness of and the understanding for the dragonfly fauna, and to give a first idea of its status and need for protection. Information on identification, distribution and habitat for all the 43 reported species from Corfu is also presented.
The International Dragonfly Fund (IDF) is a scientific society founded in 1996 for the improvement of odonatological knowledge and the protection of species. It supports projects dedicated to the exploration and protection of the dragonflies of our world and their habitats.
Marie Stille studied geology and biology at Lund University in Sweden and has a PhD in systematic zoology. Before moving to Corfu she ran a specialist plant nursery, worked as a fact reviewer within her area of expertise and is currently working as a freelance writer and photographer.
Bo Stille studied chemistry and biology at the same university and also has a PhD in systematic zoology. Before working as project/task manager at an international pharmaceutical company he worked as assistant professor at the Department of Systematic Zoology at Lund University. Both authors are originally from Sweden and moved to Corfu in 2011.