Latitudinal shifts in body size of Enallagma cyathigerum (Odonata)
Survey of the latitudinal body size pattern for populations of Enallagma cyathigerum (Odonata) across a south-north transect. Location
A transect covering the whole distribution range from south to north across Europe was sampled. Methods
Newly emerged adults were collected from five major sites across Europe and one to four localities were sampled within each site. In total 253 adults were collected from fourteen localities. Body size was measured using thorax length, length of right front wing and length of right hind tibia. These body size estimates were thereafter related to latitude and mean temperature in January and July. Results
Body size showed a U-shaped pattern with latitude, being large at low and high latitudes and small at intermediate latitudes. The same U-shaped pattern was found for mean January and July temperature, with large animals at low and high temperatures. Conclusion
The U-shaped relationship between body size and latitude is suggested to be a combination of two effects: (1) the length of the season favourable for growth and development, and (2) variation in life cycle length with latitude.