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 the gynochrome morph, I. capreolus females also exhibit at least one additional morph: an androchrome color pattern. Gynochrome females (97.1% of marked females) are green-yellow when young and change to a brownish pattern with age, within a week. Androchrome females (2.9% of marked females) exhibit blue coloration, similarly to males. Our study provides the first evidence of ontogenetic color change in I. capreolus. Furthermore, field observations show that I. capreolus is similar to other Ischnura species regarding sexual harassment behavior.

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