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Seasonal Migrations of Pantala flavescens (Odonata: Libellulidae) in Middle Asia and Understanding of the Migration Model in the Afro-Asian Region Using Stable Isotopes of Hydrogen

1
Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Frunze str., 11, 630091 Novosibirsk, Russia
2
All-Russian Research Institute of Brewing, Non-Alcoholic and Wine Industry—A branch of the Gorbatov’s Federal Scientific Center for Food Systems of Russian Academy of Sciences, Rossolimo str., 7, 119021 Moscow, Russia
3
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky pr. 33, 119071 Moscow, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(12), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11120890
Received: 19 November 2020 / Revised: 7 December 2020 / Accepted: 15 December 2020 / Published: 17 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation)
Large-distance migrations of insects have been recognized for many years, but many details of this behaviour remain unknown. The globe skimmer dragonfly has the most extensive cosmopolitan range among all dragonfly species. Migrations of these dragonflies are noted on all continents (except Antarctica), over both land and the oceans, but the patterns of their seasonal movements are still poorly understood. We aimed to confirm seasonal latitudinal migrations of the globe skimmer in Middle Asia and to clarify its migration pattern in extended areas. We used stable isotope composition of hydrogen in wings of dragonflies as an intrinsic marker of their places of origin. Combining phenological data and a comparison with published isotopic data on migratory insects, our results suggest that in spring, the already-mature dragonflies arrive in Middle Asia for reproduction from tropical parts of East Africa and/or the Arabian Peninsula, and, in autumn, summer-generation dragonflies migrate to the south. We conclude that in the Afro-Asian region there is an extensive migration circle of the globe skimmer covering East Africa, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent with a total length of more than 14,000 km.
In Middle Asia, the dragonfly Pantala flavescens makes regular seasonal migrations. In spring, sexually mature dragonflies (immigrants) arrive in this region for reproduction. Dragonflies of the aboriginal generation (residents) develop in about two months, and migrate south in autumn. Residents of Middle Asia have significantly lower δ2H values (−123.5 (SD 17.2)‰, n = 53) than immigrants (−64.4 (9.7)‰, n = 12), as well as aboriginal dragonfly species from Ethiopia (−47.9 (10.8)‰, n = 4) and the Sahel zone (−50.1 (15.5)‰, n = 11). Phenological data on P. flavescens in the Afro-Asian region and a comparison with published isotopic data on migratory insects from this region suggest that (i) the probable area of origin of P. flavescens immigrants is located in tropical parts of East Africa and/or the Arabian Peninsula and (ii) the autumn migration of Middle Asian residents to the south may also pass through the Indian Ocean. We assume that in the Afro-Asian region, there is an extensive migration circle of P. flavescens covering East Africa, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent with a total length of more than 14,000 km. View Full-Text
Keywords: migratory insect; latitudinal migration; dragonfly; globe skimmer; phenology; isotopic ecology; deuterium migratory insect; latitudinal migration; dragonfly; globe skimmer; phenology; isotopic ecology; deuterium
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MDPI and ACS Style

Borisov, S.N.; Iakovlev, I.K.; Borisov, A.S.; Ganin, M.Y.; Tiunov, A.V. Seasonal Migrations of Pantala flavescens (Odonata: Libellulidae) in Middle Asia and Understanding of the Migration Model in the Afro-Asian Region Using Stable Isotopes of Hydrogen. Insects 2020, 11, 890. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11120890

AMA Style

Borisov SN, Iakovlev IK, Borisov AS, Ganin MY, Tiunov AV. Seasonal Migrations of Pantala flavescens (Odonata: Libellulidae) in Middle Asia and Understanding of the Migration Model in the Afro-Asian Region Using Stable Isotopes of Hydrogen. Insects. 2020; 11(12):890. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11120890

Chicago/Turabian Style

Borisov, Sergey N.; Iakovlev, Ivan K.; Borisov, Alexey S.; Ganin, Mikhail Y.; Tiunov, Alexei V. 2020. "Seasonal Migrations of Pantala flavescens (Odonata: Libellulidae) in Middle Asia and Understanding of the Migration Model in the Afro-Asian Region Using Stable Isotopes of Hydrogen" Insects 11, no. 12: 890. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11120890

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