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Scent of a Dragonfly: Sex Recognition in a Polymorphic Coenagrionid.

Frati F, Piersanti S, Conti E, Rebora M, Salerno G - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The results of the present behavioural and electrophysiological investigations on Ischnura elegans, a polymorphic damselfly, support our hypothesis that chemical cues could be involved in Odonata sex recognition.The ability of male antennae to perceive odours from females has been confirmed by electrophysiological recordings.Behavioural studies in the field are necessary to investigate further these aspects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

ABSTRACT
In polymorphic damselflies discrimination of females from males is complex owing to the presence of androchrome and gynochrome females. To date there is no evidence that damselflies use sensory modalities other than vision (and tactile stimuli) in mate searching and sex recognition. The results of the present behavioural and electrophysiological investigations on Ischnura elegans, a polymorphic damselfly, support our hypothesis that chemical cues could be involved in Odonata sex recognition. The bioassays demonstrate that males in laboratory prefer female to male odour, while no significant difference was present in male behavior between stimuli from males and control. The bioassays suggest also some ability of males to distinguish between the two female morphs using chemical stimuli. The ability of male antennae to perceive odours from females has been confirmed by electrophysiological recordings. These findings are important not only to get insight into the chemical ecology of Odonata, and to shed light into the problem of olfaction in Paleoptera, but could be useful to clarify the controversial aspects of the mating behavior of polymorphic coenagrionids. Behavioural studies in the field are necessary to investigate further these aspects.

No MeSH data available.


EAG responses of I. elegans males.Males raised with females (gynochromes + androchromes) were tested towards hexane extracts from gynochromes, androchromes, and males and towards hexane used as control. Bars indicate the means ± s.e.m. n = sample size. *p < 0.05, ns = not significant (ANOVA, planned orthogonal comparisons for multiple comparison).
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pone.0136697.g005: EAG responses of I. elegans males.Males raised with females (gynochromes + androchromes) were tested towards hexane extracts from gynochromes, androchromes, and males and towards hexane used as control. Bars indicate the means ± s.e.m. n = sample size. *p < 0.05, ns = not significant (ANOVA, planned orthogonal comparisons for multiple comparison).

Mentions: EAG responses were recorded in males of I. elegans. In particular, the extracts obtained from gynochrome, androchrome and from males elicited EAG activity significantly higher in comparison with the EAG activity recorded in response to the solvent. The EAG responses elicited by the extracts obtained from gynochrome and androchrome were also significantly higher compared to those elicited by male extract but no difference was recorded between the responses elicited by the extracts of the two female morphs (F = 5.44; df = 3, 229; p = 0.0013) (Fig 5).


Scent of a Dragonfly: Sex Recognition in a Polymorphic Coenagrionid.

Frati F, Piersanti S, Conti E, Rebora M, Salerno G - PLoS ONE (2015)

EAG responses of I. elegans males.Males raised with females (gynochromes + androchromes) were tested towards hexane extracts from gynochromes, androchromes, and males and towards hexane used as control. Bars indicate the means ± s.e.m. n = sample size. *p < 0.05, ns = not significant (ANOVA, planned orthogonal comparisons for multiple comparison).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4549108&req=5

pone.0136697.g005: EAG responses of I. elegans males.Males raised with females (gynochromes + androchromes) were tested towards hexane extracts from gynochromes, androchromes, and males and towards hexane used as control. Bars indicate the means ± s.e.m. n = sample size. *p < 0.05, ns = not significant (ANOVA, planned orthogonal comparisons for multiple comparison).
Mentions: EAG responses were recorded in males of I. elegans. In particular, the extracts obtained from gynochrome, androchrome and from males elicited EAG activity significantly higher in comparison with the EAG activity recorded in response to the solvent. The EAG responses elicited by the extracts obtained from gynochrome and androchrome were also significantly higher compared to those elicited by male extract but no difference was recorded between the responses elicited by the extracts of the two female morphs (F = 5.44; df = 3, 229; p = 0.0013) (Fig 5).

Bottom Line: The results of the present behavioural and electrophysiological investigations on Ischnura elegans, a polymorphic damselfly, support our hypothesis that chemical cues could be involved in Odonata sex recognition.The ability of male antennae to perceive odours from females has been confirmed by electrophysiological recordings.Behavioural studies in the field are necessary to investigate further these aspects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

ABSTRACT
In polymorphic damselflies discrimination of females from males is complex owing to the presence of androchrome and gynochrome females. To date there is no evidence that damselflies use sensory modalities other than vision (and tactile stimuli) in mate searching and sex recognition. The results of the present behavioural and electrophysiological investigations on Ischnura elegans, a polymorphic damselfly, support our hypothesis that chemical cues could be involved in Odonata sex recognition. The bioassays demonstrate that males in laboratory prefer female to male odour, while no significant difference was present in male behavior between stimuli from males and control. The bioassays suggest also some ability of males to distinguish between the two female morphs using chemical stimuli. The ability of male antennae to perceive odours from females has been confirmed by electrophysiological recordings. These findings are important not only to get insight into the chemical ecology of Odonata, and to shed light into the problem of olfaction in Paleoptera, but could be useful to clarify the controversial aspects of the mating behavior of polymorphic coenagrionids. Behavioural studies in the field are necessary to investigate further these aspects.

No MeSH data available.