The damselfly and dragonfly watercolour collection of Edmond de Selys Longchamps: II Calopterygines, Cordulines, Gomphines and Aeschnines

In the nineteenth century Edmond de Selys Longchamps added watercolours, drawings and notes to his extensive collection of dragonfly and damselfly specimens. The majority of illustrations were executed by Selys and Guillaume Severin. The watercolour collection is currently part of the collection of the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences in Brussels. This previously unpublished…

Ontogenetic colour changes and male polymorphism in Mnais andersoni (Odonata: Calopterygidae)

Colour-based traits are widespread in flying species due to the importance of visual perception in their communication. Ontogenetic colour changes and reversible physiological colours occur in some species and are used as communication signals to conspecifics. The genus Mnais (Zygoptera: Calopterygidae) shows both genetic colour polymorphism and age-related colour changes, making challenging even the identification…

The damselfly and dragonfly watercolour collection of Edmond de Selys Longchamps: I Agrionines

In the nineteenth century Edmond de Selys Longchamps assembled a collection consisting of watercolours, drawings and notes on Odonata. Most illustrations were based on specimens from his extensive odonate collection and were mainly executed by Selys himself and by Guillaume Severin. These illustrations and notes are presently housed in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural…

A preliminary study on female-limited colour polymorphism in Lestes sponsa

Female-limited colour polymorphisms are widespread in Odonata, usually showing an androchrome and one or more gynochromes. Androchromes have been hypothesized to function as male mimics with a consequent decrease of male harassment, although males may also learn to recognize the different female colour morphs. In the Eurasian damselfly Lestes sponsa, the occurrence of two female…

Do coloured-winged damselflies and dragonflies have flight kinematics different from those with clear wings?

The flights of male odonates encountering conspecifics at their reproduction sites were investigated by means of slow-motion films. We recorded large and generally consistent differences between species with clear wings (SCLW) and species with coloured wings (SCOW). SCLW mostly fought having physical contact and moved their wings without pauses in wing beats (hereafter designated wing…

Odonata colour: more than meets the eye?

Interpretations of behavioural visual cues, based on human perception of colour, may mislead because of the difference in our visual range compared to other animals. Investigations into ultraviolet (UV) reflectance have shown that this can be an important mode of communication in many animals. The present study focused on 10 species of British Odonata. Digital

Morphological re-examination of Epiophlebia laidlawi (Insecta: Odonata) including remarks on taxonomy

Epiophlebia is the only known taxon of Odonata that is neither part of the damselflies (Zygoptera) nor dragonflies (Anisoptera). Previously, two species of Epiophlebia were recognized, restricted to areas in Japan (Epiophlebia superstes) and the Himalayas (Epiophlebia laidlawi). Recently, the group gained attention with the description of new species from China – Epiophlebia sinensis and Epiophlebia…

Reported ovo-viviparity in Heliocypha perforata (Odonata: Chlorocyphidae) – reassessment of the evidence, based partly on examination of the female reproductive system and mature eggs

Heliocypha perforata (sensu lato) is a common stream-dwelling damselfly widespread in mainland tropical Asia. Recently a report has been published suggesting possible ovo-viviparity in this species, based on the interpretation of evidence from a short video sequence. This video is re-evaluated. The internal and external anatomy of the H. perforata female reproductive system, including mature…