Use of Saltmarsh by Dragonflies (Odonata) in the Baie des Chaleurs Region of Quebec and New Brunswick in Late Summer and Autumn


  • Paul M. Catling 170 Sanford Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 0E9
  • Raymond Hutchinson 12 Ch. de la Savane, Appartment 12, Gatineau, Québec J8T 1P7
  • Paul M. Brunelle 4 Hilltop Terrace, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 3T1



Odonata, dragonflies, saltmarsh, Baie des Chaleurs, Quebec, New Brunswick


During late summer and autumn, in the Baie des Chaleurs region of Quebec, 18 species of adult dragonflies were recorded during one or more visits of at least 2 hours each to 14 saltmarshes. Three species, Aeshna canadensis, Sympetrum danae and S. internum, were present in more than half of the sites. The most abundant species was S. internum with over 100 seen at some locations. Adults of several species, including Aeshna canadensis, A. umbrosa, Enallagma civile, E. hageni, Ischnura verticalis, Lestes disjunctus, Libellula quadrimaculata, Sympetrum danae, S. internum and S. obtrusum, occurred in relatively high frequencies in both Baie des Chaleurs saltmarshes and in those elsewhere in Acadia. Within Baie des Chaleurs observations of emergence and/or presence of larvae, as well as regional abundance, were recorded for Aeshna canadensis, A. umbrosa, Ischnura verticalis, Sympetrum costiferum, S. internum and S. vicinum. Oviposition in saltmarsh pools was recorded for Aeshna canadensis, Enallagma civile, E, hageni, Ischnura verticalis, Lestes congener and Sympetrum danae. The saltmarsh dragonfly fauna of Baie des Chaleurs is significantly different from that of the rest of Acadia based on frequencies predicted from the latter region. To a large extent this difference is a result of significantly increased use of saltmarsh habitat by adults of six species including Lestes congener, Sympetrum danae, Aeshna canadensis, Sympetrum costiferum, Lestes disjunctus, and Sympetrum internum (in order of decreasing significance) in Baie des Chaleurs in comparison with saltmarshes elsewhere in Acadia. Local amelioration of salty conditions in certain saltmarshes, superimposed on regional amelioration as a result of protection from storms and saltwater dilution in the Baie des Chaleurs estuary, may contribute to an environment where adaptation can occur or where already tolerant species can exist. Dragonflies use saltmarsh habitat on the northeast coast of North America more extensively than is currently documented.