Dragonflies and Damselflies: References

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Reference Link. Citation Primary biogeographic zone Disciplinary domains URL Usage
May 1995a. May, M.L. (1995) Dependence of Flight Behavior And Heat Production on Air Temperature in The Green Darner Dragonfly Anax junius (Odonata: Aeshnidae). The Journal of Experimental Biology 198: 2385–2392   Behaviour Physiology Link Check use

Key words
Anax junius, Anisoptera, body temperature, flight metabolism, green darner dragonfly, heat exchange, thermoregulation

The large, endothermic dragonfly Anax junius regulates the temperatures of its thorax (Tth) and head (Th) during flight. At high ambient temperature (Ta) it is able to dispose of excess heat from the thorax by increasing hemolymph circulation to the abdomen, but recent evidence suggests that heat loss to the abdomen is largely passive at Ta<30 °C. Nevertheless, these insects continue to regulate Tth and Th at least down to 20 °C and probably at much lower values of Ta. As Ta declines, A. junius glide less, probably fly faster when feeding, and increase their wingbeat frequency when patrolling. Presumably as a result of these behavioral changes, heat production, and thus inferred flight metabolic rate, is inversely proportional to Ta. This is the first demonstration based on field data that an insect regulates body temperature while flying by altering heat production. haemolymph