Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2013


Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) play an important role in habitat management and conservation, but our understanding of the causes of commonness versus rarity in this group is limited. In this study we examined the causes of rarity for the Odonata of Illinois. Using S-ratings for conservation status and published habitat classifications for Illinois odonates, we investigated whether habitat type (lotic versus lentic) or habitat specificity (whether they were limited to a specific type of aquatic habitat) was related to commonness. We found that lotic species and habitat specialists were more likely to be rare than lentic and generalist species. More information, however, is needed on the distributions and natural histories of Illinois odonates if we are to more fully understand the causes of rarity in this important group.