As global temperatures continue to rise we find ourselves thinking of creative new ways to cool down. Maybe you bought a paddling pool or a desk fan or you made a camouflage for ice lollies during lunch. Dragonflies are no different – they have created their own unique way of fighting heat.
A new study has found that as the climate warms, dragonflies will lose their “bling” wing decor and predict that more beautiful patterns will fade as the climate crisis worsens. Dragonflies have ornamental black patterns on their wings, which vary in variety and variety and help attract their mates. Men with greater pigmentation are generally more successful at this and better able to intimidate competitors
Unfortunately, however, when it comes to wing pigmentation, more is not needed, as it can heat male dragonflies up to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), damaging their wing tissues, reducing their ability to fight and even causing death. Maybe too hot, the evolutionary battle between natural and sexual selection is well documented, and it seems that natural selection can only come to the fore in this particular battle. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, created a database of 319 dragonfly species and tested wing ornaments using photographs of different species and information on known climates.
The researchers also presented cross-referenced pigmentation of about 3,000 dragonflies of 10 species, including information on their location and climate. They compared how dragonflies of the same species changed color depending on the climate in which they were born. The database spanned 14 years (2005 to 2019), allowing the team to track changes in wing pigmentation of the same species over time – male dragonflies identified in warmer years typically had less winged pigmentation than those of the same species in colder years.
Whether they compare individuals of the same or different species in different climates, male dragonflies often develop less winged color in response to warmer temperatures. Lead author Michael Moore said in a statement, “Our study shows that dragonfly male wing pigment evolves so consistently in response to the climate that it is one of the most probable evolutionary responses observed for mating-related traits.”
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