The Colour of Dragonflies Changes throughout the Year

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Different coloured dragonfly species (from left to right): The Small Whiteface (
Different coloured dragonfly species (from left to right): The Small Whiteface (Leucorrhinia dubia) is a dark species that flies mainly in spring and early summer. The Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens), a light-coloured species that flies mainly in midsummer. The Black Darter (Sympetrum danae), a dark species that flies mainly in late summer and fall. (Image: Christian Hof / Uni Würzburg)

The colour of dragonfly communities reacts to seasonal variation in solar radiation. Over the last 30 years, however, this colour pattern has changed - probably as a result of climate change.

In a new study, researchers at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany, have discovered that the colour of dragonfly communities reacts to seasonal fluctuations in solar radiation. In spring and autumn, dragonflies with darker colour nuances are more likely to fly, while the specimens that appear in summer tend to be lighter in colour. The results of the study have now been published in the journal Nature Communications.

The colour adaptation allows the predatory insects to regulate their body temperature. ...

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