Geographical variation of prementum size in Iberian Cordulegaster boltonii (Odonata: Cordulegastridae) populations


Within wide geographical areas, Odonata populations can show biometric differences as a consequence of both biotic (e.g., predation, competition) and abiotic factors (mainly temperature). These differences can occur in the larval stage, although reliable characters are needed to detect differences. We analyzed whether Cordulegaster boltonii larvae from 18 Iberian populations differ regarding head width and prementum size (maximum width, minimum width, and maximum length), using measurements taken on final stage exuviae. Prementum length was greater in southern populations than in northern ones. Geographic latitude and temperature were the variables that best explained this variation in females, whereas latitude and altitude above sea level offered the best explanation among males.

Issue section: Original Article