Wednesday, January 5, 2022

[Entomology • 2022] Ischnura praematura • A Species (Odonata: Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae) from Yunnan (China) whose Females Mate in the Teneral State

Ischnura praematura Sanmartín-Villar & Zhang,  

in Sanmartín-Villar, Lorenzo-Carballa, Zhang & Cordero-Rivera, 2021. 
All photos by I. Sanmartín-Villar.


Ischnura praematura sp. nov. (Holotype ♂, China, Yunnan, Lijiang, 26º31´03.54”N, 100º13’38.89”E, 2396 m, 04 xii 2015, I. Sanmartín-Villar & H. Zhang leg.) is morphologically described, illustrated and compared with close species of the genus. Ischnura praematura can be mainly distinguished from its congeners I. aurora, I. rubilio and I. asiatica by its abdominal and thoracic morphology and colouration. The posterior lobe of the prothorax is elevated in I. praematura and the mesostigmal plates possess dorsal triangular protuberances. Ischnura praematura shows pointed paraprocts, internalised wide cerci and lacks a dorsal tuberculum in the tenth abdominal segment. The blue abdominal colouration is present in the last three segments (incomplete for segment eight and ten in some individuals). No female polychromatism was detected and all females observed possessed different colouration than male (gynochrome). Morphological distinctiveness of the species is supported by genetic analyses, which show that I. praematura forms a well-supported, monophyletic clade, with I. asiatica, I. ezoin and I. pumilio as the most closely related species. In the field, mature females show strong reluctance to mate, and males were observed mating with newly emerged females.

Key words: Asia, damselfly, integrative taxonomy, molecular markers, mitochondrial DNA, nuclear DNA

Ischnura praematura mature male (a) and female (b) as seen in the field, nearby Lijiang city. Note the pruinescence in the abdomen and legs of the mature female and the wing hardness in comparison with the females of the following pictures. Tandem (c) and mating (d) observed in the field between a mature male and a teneral female.
All photos by I. Sanmartín-Villar.

Ischnura praematura sp. nov. Sanmartín-Villar & Zhang 

Etymology. Specific name praematura (i.e. premature: occurring before a state of readiness or maturity has arrived) in reference to its reproductive behaviour, in which mature males mate with newly emerged females before they reach sexual maturity (see below).

Iago Sanmartín-Villar, M. Olalla Lorenzo-Carballa, Haomiao Zhang and Adolfo Cordero-Rivera. 2021. Ischnura praematura sp. nov. (Odonata: Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae): A Species from Yunnan (China) whose Females Mate in the Teneral State. Zootaxa. 5087(1); 59-74. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5087.1.3