Do coloured-winged damselflies and dragonflies have flight kinematics different from those with clear wings?

The flights of male odonates encountering conspecifics at their reproduction sites were investigated by means of slow-motion films. We recorded large and generally consistent differences between species with clear wings (SCLW) and species with coloured wings (SCOW). SCLW mostly fought having physical contact and moved their wings without pauses in wing beats (hereafter designated wing…

Kinematic analysis of maiden flight of Odonata

The maiden flight of five species of Odonata of different families was filmed by slow motion up to 500 f/s and analysed frame by frame. The aim of this study was to find out if the maiden flight differs among various species as well as between tenerals and adults within the same species with respect…

Diel pattern of activity, mating, and flight behaviour in Onychogomphus uncatus (Odonata: Gomphidae)

The behaviour of Onychogomphus uncatus, including flight and mating activity, was studied at a fast-flowing irrigation canal. During the day, males perched in sections of the canal with a strong current and a turbulent water surface. During short flights, interactions with other con-specific and hetero-specific males occurred, particularly with Orthetrum coerulescens. Under conditions of high…

Distribution, autecology, genetic characterization, and conservation of the Western Mediterranean endemic dragonfly Orthetrum nitidinerve (Selys, 1841): insights from Italy

Aquatic macroinvertebrates are a primary component of freshwater ecosystems and one of the most threatened by anthropogenic pressures. Among them, dragonflies are a charismatic group of growing scientific and social interest. However, little is known about the natural history of several species. One paradigmatic example is the declining Orthetrum nitidinerve, a Western Mediterranean endemic anisopteran….

On the firing line – interactions between hunting frogs and Odonata

Frogs are important predators of Odonata. We investigated frogs catching Odonata prey by means of slow-motion filming in the field in order to understand the prey–predator interactions. In particular, we aimed to analyse kinematics of captures, and of Odonata fleeing, through evaluation of frame-by-frame filming; 122 (20%) of 613 events were analysed. While dragonflies were…

Wing shape patterns among urban, suburban, and rural populations of Ischnura elegans (Odonata: Coenagrionidae)

Dragonflies and damselflies (the Odonata) are among the most efficient flying insects. However, fragmentation of the landscape can increase distance between habitats and affect costs of dispersal, thus shaping phenotypic patterns of flight-related traits, such as wing shape, wing loading and wing size. Urban landscapes are highly fragmented, which limits dispersal among aquatic habitats. Hence,