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….

Genetic consequences of range expansions along several fronts in Crocothemis erythraea

Global warming has altered the ranges of many species, especially those of insects and other ectotherms that are particularly susceptible to rising temperatures. Four decades ago, the dragonfly Crocothemis erythraea began to demonstrate northern range expansion in Germany, as well as in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK. The rapid range expansion of C….

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,…

Hybridization between Calopteryx splendens and C. haemorrhoidalis confirmed by morphological and genetic analyses

Hybridization between Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis and any of its congeners has not been reported until now. We observed spontaneous matings between male C. splendens and female C. haemorrhoidalis at a locality in Central Italy, together with some putative hybrid individuals that had a mixed phenotype. Here, we report the morphological and molecular characterization of five suspected…

Odonata communities in retrodunal ponds: a comparison of sampling methods

Dragonflies are commonly used as indicators of environmental quality and different methods have been employed to monitor odonate assemblages, such as surveys of all adults, evaluations based on breeding adults, sampling of larvae and collection of exuviae. Results obtained with different sampling methods may not be interchangeable, as the different life stages (e.g. larvae, adults)…