Growth, winter preparations and timing of emergence in temperate zone Odonata: control by a succession of larval response patterns

As warm-adapted insects of tropical origin, Odonata cope with cold periods by seasonal regulation and diapause. A model for larval-overwintering species is proposed with three response patterns related to the timing of emergence, which can be predicted from seasonal cues during the last few stadia. For emergence during the present season, there is an often time constrained pre-emergence development, accelerated by long days and higher temperatures.

Constant and shifting photoperiods as seasonal cues during larval development of the univoltine damselfly Lestes sponsa (Odonata: Lestidae)

Larvae were reared at 21.5°C from eggs from southernmost Sweden, and fed ad libitum to emergence in four different photoperiodic treatments, intended to represent increasing levels of time stress: constant LD 16:8, corresponding to late April (or August) conditions, a shift after about two weeks from LD 16:8 to 19.5:4.5, coarsely simulating late spring, constant…