New records of polymorphism in Asian libellulid dragonflies (Insecta: Odonata)

Polymorphism has rarely been reported from dragonflies of the Libellulidae (Odonata: Anisoptera) family. Here, we report female-limited polymorphism in females of five species of the Libellulidae and a gynandromorph male of Brachythemis contaminata from South Asia. We describe the morphological variation between andromorph and heteromorph females, and collate records of andromorph females from various sources….

Dragonfly flight: morphology, performance and behaviour

Odonata flight performance capabilities and behaviour and their body and wing form diversity are explored, and their interrelationships discussed theoretically and from observational evidence. Overall size and particularly wing loading appear predictably to be related to speed range. In Anisoptera at least, relatively short bodies and long wings should favour high speed manoeuvrability, though further…

Analysing the European genera of family Lestidae (Odonata: Zygoptera) with special emphasis on the status of Chalcolestes based on the morphological characteristics of male adults

Lestidae is a heterogeneous family with more than 150 species worldwide. There are many debates concerning its resolution. One of them is whether the genus Chalcolestes should be recognized as a genus or considered as a synonym of Lestes. We compared male characteristics of eight Hungarian species of three genera (Lestes, Chalcolestes and Sympecma) of…

Development of polymorphic microsatellite markers for a rare dragonfly, Cordulegaster sarracenia (Odonata: Cordulegastridae), with notes on population structure and genetic diversity

We isolated and characterized a total of 13 microsatellite loci from Cordulegaster sarracenia (Odonata: Cordulegastridae). Loci were screened in 24 individuals from Louisiana and Texas. Within C. sarracenia, the number of alleles per locus ranged from 0 to 5, and observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.000 to 0.556 and 0.000 to 0.613, respectively. Overall

Female color polymorphism of Ischnura capreolus Hagen, 1861 (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) with notes on behavior and ontogenetic color changes

Polymorphism in coenagrionids is widely known, mainly for Ischnura. Here, we present the case of I. capreolus, a Neotropical species of which, until now, little information concerning color polymorphism and ontogenetic color changes was known. We used a marking and recapture method to evidence ontogenetic coloration changes in females. We show that, in addition to…

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…

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…

Melanic individuals in color polymorphic Enallagma damselflies result from phenotypic, not genetic, variation

Genetically determined color polymorphisms have a long history in the study of evolutionary change acting on populations. The Odonata exhibit relatively high levels of sex-specific color polymorphisms in mature adults. In Ischnura and Coenagrion, female-specific polymorphisms are known to be controlled by Mendelian genes. Nearly half of Enallagma species have polymorphic females, but the inheritance…