Original paper

Egg hatching patterns within and among populations of a damselfly occupying permanent and temporary ponds

De Block, Marjan; Stoks, Robby; De Bruyn, Luc


Although opposing selection forces cause drastic differences in community structure between temporary and permanent ponds, some species are able to persist in both pond types. Little is known about the underlying life history strategies that enable species to do so. This is especially true for embryonic development times. Here, we describe within and among population variation in natural egg hatching patterns of the damselfly Lestes viridis that occurs in both pond types. In general, egg hatching was synchronous both within and among populations. A two-year field monitoring study showed consistent regional differences in egg hatching and earlier egg hatching in temporary ponds. A common garden and two full-sib experiments suggested that differences in hatching dates among populations and families were not completely driven by differences in environmental conditions, but may have a genetic basis. Although the pattern of earlier egg hatching in temporary ponds, as observed in the field monitoring, is adaptive, it was not fully repeatable in the common garden experiment. This suggests that this pattern is caused by more benign environmental conditions at the temporary ponds relative to the permanent ponds, and not an adaptation to pond type.


embryonic developmenthydroperiodlestes viridispopulation differentiation