If it is a dragonfly, then the best blue-winged Demoiselles

How are charismatic flying insects?

Dragonflies are showy insects. They have a long abdomen and four wings that allow them to fly forward, backward, or stay in the air. There are species that live in swamps, ponds and swamps, and those that prefer flowing water. So does the local blue-winged dragonfly (Calopteryx Virgo). In Germany, their numbers have increased since 1980. As researchers led by Diana Boehler of the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Halle-Jenna-Leipzig believe, the increase is likely related to improved river water quality.

The team of scientists examined the evolution of 77 species of dragonfly in Germany, where most species can be found in Europe. To do this, the researchers evaluated data collected primarily by citizen scientists between 1980 and 2016. The numbers of species living in stagnant waters have shrunk particularly sharply because their habitats have dwindled. However, the dragonflies on the rivers have grown again. An evolution resulting from the increased cleanliness of the flowing water.

Across all species, 45 percent of them were found to be more common in Germany. This is especially true for thermophilic species. They seem to be benefiting from rising temperatures due to climate change. The researchers have their results published in the specialized journal “Diversity and Distributions” chest.

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