ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

An assessment of the dichotomous flight strategies in corduliid dragonflies

Tuesday, November 13, 2012: 4:24 PM
301 D, Floor Three (Knoxville Convention Center)
William R. Kuhn , Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
Jessica L. Ware , Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
Corbet, with the later support of others, theorized that there is a dichotomy in the flight strategies of dragonflies based on thermoregulation and behavior; those that spend most of their time in flight he called ‘fliers,’ while those that are most often found perching on vegetation or substrate, he called ‘perchers.’ Here, we categorized the flight behavior of foraging male dragonflies in the family Corduliidae (s.l.) – based on species accounts from field guides, species descriptions, etc. – into three groups: ‘fliers,’ perchers,’ and ‘fliers, with occasional perching.’  We then reconstructed the ancestral character states using GARLI maximum likelihood onto an unpublished phylogeny of Corduliidae that was based upon COI, COII, 12S, 16S, 18S, 28S, and H3 regions and constructed using maximum likelihood.  The flight strategies were characterized for 272 corduliid species (65% of the family) and 11 outgroup species.  Fliers were the most common (237 corduliid spp.), followed by ‘fliers, with occasional perching’ (28 corduliid spp.); perchers were rare (3 corduliid spp.).  According to the ancestral state reconstruction, flying is the ancestral state for the group, ‘flying, with occasional perching’ evolved ten times independently in Corduliidae [Cordulephya, Austrocordulia, Gomphomacromia, Didymops, Neurocordulia, Epitheca (= Tetragoneuria), Somatochlora, Helocordulia, Dorocordulia, and Cordulia], and perching evolved once (Williamsonia).