An investigation by Michael Moore at Washington University has found that male dragonfly wings lose the patterns in their wings linked to reproduction due to climate changes. Mr. Moore of the Living Earth Collaborative at the University said that studies have shown that the dark pigmentation on dragonfly wings evolves so regularly reacting to changes in climate. That makes it one of the most predictable evolutionary responses linked to the reproductive process.
The study has revealed that traits that are linked to the mating process of an organism are as important to study how they adapt to climatic changes. The dark patch in the wings of dragonflies helps them to court potential partners and frighten away rivals.
Loss Of Pigmentation In Dragonfly Wings Related To Rising In Temperature
The dark pigment on the dragonfly wings also has another unfavorable side effect. It heats the dragonflies by as much as 2 degrees Celcius, which is a huge increase for a small creature. So while the pigmentation helps the dragonflies find their mate, it also causes them to overheat that could prove dangerous.
Researchers are now observing that the extra heating is forcing the dragonfly to evolve differently by decreasing the amount of wing pigmentation in relation to the climate.
The heating has affected the dragonfly’s ability to adapt in North America and they have evolved accordingly.
A database of around 300 species of dragonfly and matched them with species living in different climatic conditions. They compared the colors on the wings accordingly.
It was found that the dragonfly wings always reacted to higher temperatures by having less pigmentation. Moore said that this was the most dependable response of evolution that has been observed in a mating-related attribute.
This adaptation proves that this adaptation could be evidence that this was the dragonfly’s way of adjusting to any climate emergency. Projections reveal that the dragonfly wings will lose more pigmentation with the increase in temperatures.
It has been noted that the female of the species hasn’t responded as promptly to the changes in temperatures. Female dragonflies haven’t dropped their pigmentation with an increase in temperatures. But the changes point to one fact. Scientists need to study the evolution of organisms with changes in climatic conditions which will help in managing their population.