i5K: Scarce chaser
Scarce Chaser (Ladona fulva)
Source: Christian Fischer
Contact: Oliver Niehuis
Researchers involved: 20
Size (or size of nearest relative): 1.2 Gb (other spp. of Libellula: 670-940)
Keywords (and why important): Evolutionary branching, (systematics)
Representative of Odonata: the dragonfly Ladona fulva occurs primarily in Central Europe and is a typical predator of insects at small ponds and creeks with dense vegetation. Like all dragonflies, Ladona fulva features a special mode of flight (indirect-direct wing stroke) and a form of indirect sperm transfer via a secondary intromittent organ at the second and third segment of the male abdomen, demarcating Odonata from all other winged insects (Pterygota).
Due to their mode of flight, peculiar sperm transfer, and their phylogenetic origin, dragonflies are crucial to understand major evolutionary steps at the base of the insect tree of life. Dragonflies also serve as models for developing bionical applications that are used in the industry (e.g., wing stroke mechanisms, head arrester systems).