A method for rearing a large number of damselflies (Ischnura elegans, Coenagrionide) in the laboratory


Dragonflies and damselflies are important study organisms in many areas of biology. Laboratory experiments with these insects have a great potential for answering evolutionary, ecological and physiological questions. Laboratory studies require insect rearing, because it can provide large sample sizes of specimens that are available throughout the year. These insects are reared under known conditions, and their use does not affect natural populations. The present paper describes a protocol to obtain at least three generations per year of Ischnura elegans in laboratory conditions, with hundreds of insects for each generation. Together with the protocol description, data from three annual laboratory populations obtained in Italy from summer 2011 to summer 2013 using this protocol are reported.

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