Migration in Odonata: a case study of <i>Anax junius</i>

Michael L. May and John H. Matthews

in Dragonflies and Damselflies

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199230693
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710889 | DOI:
 Migration in Odonata: a case study of Anax junius

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Migration by Odonata may illuminate patterns and evolution of insect migration in general. As aquatic/aerial carnivores dragonflies differ from most migratory insects, and because they are large and diurnal, observational techniques are available that are impossible in most other insects. Geographic analysis of genetic structure and stable and radiogenic isotope composition and use of newly developed radio-tracking techniques has been applied to migration in the North American dragonfly, Anax junius. Southbound migrants move up to 2,800 km. Developmental phenology suggests early (‘resident’) and late (‘migrant’) cohorts at most sites, but these groups appear genetically identical, and the species is essentially panmictic in eastern North America. Apparently environmental cues and physiological responses to photoperiod and temperature engender migratory behaviour. Successful radio-tracking of individual A. junius has revealed alternating periods of migration and energy replenishment, and responses to wind and temperature similar to avian migration.

Keywords: Anax junius; dragonfly; migration; Odonata; phenology; population genetics; radio-tracking; stable isotope

Chapter.  8920 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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