Wing Shape Variation In A Damselfly: Effects Of Range Margins And Latitude

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för biologisk grundutbildning

Abstract: An optimal wing shape is necessary for the survival of winged insects since it enables different survival strategies and is expected to vary between environments due to different selection pressures. However, few studies have explored wing shape variation across the whole range of a species.  In this study, geographic variation in wing shape in male Lestes sponsa was examined from 14 localities along a latitudinal gradient in Europe. The wings were analyzed using a comparative geometric morphometric approach, where the different shapes were digitized, statistically analyzed, and visualized on thin spline deformation grids. The results showed significant differences in wing shape in both the fore- and hindwings between locations. Wings at some localities showed a slender appearance with a narrow tip, and wings from other localities showed a broader appearance with a convex tip. A significant trend in wing shape was found from the central populations to the northern one. However, no continuous trend in wing shape was found across the latitudinal range suggesting that local abiotic or biotic factors might drive the difference observed.

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