Future Research on Dragonfly Nymphs

  • Kenneth J. Tennessen


Opportunities for researchers, teachers, students and citizen scientists to make contributions to our knowledge on the Odonata nymphs of North America are introduced. The main taxonomic needs are rearing and describing the nymphs of 50 species of Anisoptera that are still poorly known or unknown and using the data to emend the respective identification keys. Fully evaluating nymph characters will advance attempts at integrating morphological and molecular approaches to species distinctions and phylogeny. Very few of the 330 North American Anisoptera species (~6%) have been reared through all stages from egg to full-grown nymph, resulting in an inability to identify most early instars. The structure and function of various types of nymphal setae and their role in detecting stimuli and affording camouflage constitute an exciting field for research opportunities. Growth rate, life history and habitat of most species are under-studied. Utilization of Anisoptera nymphs in biomonitoring and conservation efforts shows that Odonata provide useful regional tools but the field has not been fully researched and the value of Odonata in such pursuits is undoubtedly underestimated. In summary, data generated by studies in these various subject areas will be useful in evaluating faunal surveys, constructing phylogenetic analyses, furthering education outreach and public awareness, and enhancing species and habitat conservation efforts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth J. Tennessen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Florida State Collection of ArthropodsGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.WautomaUSA

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