Odonata (dragonfly and damselfly) color vision is broad and extremely interesting at both the physiological and molecular level. Odonates appear to be almost entirely visual using color cues to find mates and discriminate between species. However, their diversity in body coloration is less well known. Vietnam's high diversity of odonate species allows for a large range of visible spectrum color: from ultraviolet to infrared. A spectrophotometer was used to objectively measure the full spectrum of reflected light from 250 to 750 nm. We measured a compilation of various body parts from live specimens collected in Vietnam. As we started to find particularly interesting color patterns in families or genera - specifically Chlorocyphidae and Rhipidolestes - we narrowed our focus to certain species. We compared and contrasted the color patterns of species from these groups as they had overlapping distributions, habitats, and diel patterns. This is the start of a database that has the potential to address questions about the evolution of community color composition and coloration as a possible indicator of odonate and ecosystem health. We have also taken coloration measurements from French Guiana, Gabon, and the US and hope to build the database on a more global level in the future.
University / Institution: Brigham Young University
Format: In Person
SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Seth Bybee