We present the first empirical treatment of the northernmost breeding dragonfly, Somatochlora sahlbergi. We sequenced populations from United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden and Norway for cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and D2 region of 28s. We found that, despite geographic barriers across its vast arctic range, S. sahlbergi is a single species. Not only does it appear to interbreed across its entire range, there also seems to be almost no variation among European and North American populations in their COI gene fragment (the barcode gene), which is usually extremely variable. We further found that characters thought to be diagnostic for the larvae of S. sahlbergi were absent in our European samples. We review and re-describe the habitat of this species based on new findings from recent field observations. Finally, we report for the first time the likely presence of this species in Japan. We hope our findings will encourage further study of this species and other under-studied insect taxa that inhabit the remote Arctic.
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