Scientists are well aware that the earth's species have not all been discovered or named, but in 1993 a Canadian field biologist reduced the number of species left to be discovered by one. On the Canoose Stream in southwest New Brunswick, Paul-Michael Brunelle came across an exuvia, which he couldn't identify. Exuviae are left behind when a larva metamorphoses into an adult odonate and are useful in identifying odonates. Despite the involvement of several experts, the species still could not be identified. Two years later, adult males and females of an unknown species were found in the same location, further deepening the mystery. Finally, in 1996, the unknown adults were seen emerging from the unknown exuviae and it was confirmed that both were of the same, new, species, later named Broadtailed Shadowdragon, Neurocordulia michaeli. An easily overlooked species that flies only after dusk, the Broadtailed Shadowdragon has since been found in Maine, and Ontario, although the Ontario record is not included in Wild Species 2005 as the discovery was made after the odonate rankings were completed in 2003. Broadtailed Shadowdragon has a Canada General Status Rank (Canada rank) of Sensitive.
The opportunity to make new discoveries, such as this, is one aspect that attracts enthusiasts to the study of odonates. New county records of odonates are regularly reported, and new provincial and territorial records are not unusual, but the discovery of a new species is a thrill few people can hope to experience in their lifetime.