Aspects of life history of Platycnemis subdilatata (Zygoptera: Platycnemididae) in Northeast Algeria


The determination of seasonal regulation is important to understand how species have adapted to their local environmental conditions. In this study, we investigate the life history of a North African endemic damselfly, Platycnemis subdilatata, in a northeast Algerian population. We combined field and laboratory investigations to assess the embryonic development, larval growth, emergence pattern and adult flight season. The embryonic development was direct and asynchronous, with 50% of all eggs hatching after three weeks of egg laying and a hatching period ranging from 13 to 51 days. Hatching success was 48.8%, and the causes of hatching failure were infertility and unhatchability. Larval population structure was quite asynchronous during the winter and less so before emergence. The occurrence of larval diapause is improbable due to the increase of the proportion of the last larval stadium in late winter. Emergence was asynchronous with half of the larval population (EM50) emerging after 44 days within an emergence season of 122 days. Sex ratio at emergence was slightly female biased (50.6%). The flight season lasted 133 days starting from early May. The species reached its sexual maturity after six and seven days of emergence in male and female, respectively. Lifespan was not significantly different between sexes with a mean of 7.75 ± 6.45 days (± SD). Our results suggest that the species is univoltine with a typical summer species life history.

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