Hadjadji S., Amari H., Bouiedda N., Guebailia A., Boucenna N., Mayache B., Houhamdi M.

Emergence ecology and body size dimorphism in Sympetrum fonscolombii and S. meridionale (Odonata: Libellulidae)

Abstract The study of dragonfly emergence provides insights into the understanding of their life history, ecology, and adaptation to abiotic and biotic factors. Here we investigate the emergence ecology and body size of two congeneric dragonflies (Sympetrum fonscolombii Selys, and S. meridionale Selys) in Northeast Algeria, highlighting the seasonal pattern, sex ratio at emergence, sexual size dimorphism (SSD), and vertical stratification. We found that both species, S. fonscolombii in particular, showed quite asynchronous emergence. In both species, and especially in the larger S. meridionale, sex ratio was found to be female-biased, which is in line with the hypothesis of a negative relationship between SSD and sex ratio. There was no seasonal pattern of body size observed in both species. In S. meridionale, SSD with regard to both body and wing sheath length was male-biased, while in S. fonscolombii, it was male-biased with regard to body length and female-biased with regard to wing length. Vertical stratification depended on support height (the higher the support, the higher the height of exuvia fixation) but had a complex relationship with the body size. The biological significance and implications of the vertical stratification-body size relationship are discussed.

Doi https://doi.org/10.35513/21658005.2019.1.2

Keywords Odonate; dragonfly; exuvia; sex ratio; body size; habitat selection; North Africa

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