Effects of Water Temperature under Projected Climate Change on the Development and Survival of Enallagma civile (Odonata: Coenagrionidae)

S. M. Starr, N. E. McIntyre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Current climate projections for the Great Plains of North America indicate markedly increased air temperatures by the end of the current century. Because the Great Plains contains >80,000 intermittent wetlands that serve as irreplaceable wildlife habitat, this projected warming may have profound effects throughout a continental-scale trophic network. However, little research has been done to determine how projected warming may affect the growth, development, or survival of even common species in this region. We conducted laboratory warming experiments, using an abundant amphibious predatory insect, Enallagma civile (Hagen, 1861), as a model organism, to determine whether projected warming may affect development or survival. Eggs were collected and reared under four water temperature regimes representing current (26°C) and projected future conditions (32, 38, and 41°C). Nymph body size after each molt, development rate, and deaths were recorded. Elevated water temperatures were found to significantly affect the survivorship of E. civile eggs and nymphs as well as adult body size at emergence: an increase in temperature incurred a decrease in survival and size. Nymphs in the two hotter treatments were smaller and had low survivorship whereas individuals in the cooler temperatures generally survived to adulthood and were larger. Nymphs reared at 32°C experienced accelerated ontogenetic development compared with the other temperatures, going from egg to adult in 26 d. Projected elevated temperatures may, thus, be both advantageous and detrimental, causing concern for aquatic invertebrates in this region in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-237
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 17 2020


  • Zygoptera
  • egg
  • experiment
  • nymph
  • warming


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