Selection of Oviposition Sites by Libelloides coccajus (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) (Neuroptera: Ascalaphidae), North of the Alps: Implications for Nature Conservation

; ; (). Selection of Oviposition Sites by Libelloides coccajus (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) (Neuroptera: Ascalaphidae), North of the Alps: Implications for Nature Conservation. Journal of Insects, doi:10.1155/2014/542489, Article ID 542489. 10 pages. Peer reviewed.

(1)The survival of peripheral populations is often threatened, especially in a changing environment. Furthermore, such populations frequently show adaptations to local conditions which, in turn, may enhance the ability of a species to adapt to changing environmental conditions. In conservation biology, peripheral populations are therefore of particular interest. (2) In northern Switzerland and southern Germany, Libelloides coccajus is an example of such a peripheral species. (3)Assuming that suitable oviposition sites are crucial to its long-term survival, we compared oviposition sites and adjacent control plots with regard to structure and composition of the vegetation. (4) Vegetation structure at and around oviposition sites seems to follow fairly stringent rules leading to at least two benefits for the egg clutches: (i) reduced risk of contact with adjacent plants, avoiding delayed drying after rainfall or morning dew and (ii) reduced shading and therefore higher temperatures. (5) Furthermore, the study showed that it is possible to successfully create secondary habitats for L. coccajus, as shown by a road verge in one of our study areas. It is likely that other artificial habitats such as abandoned gravel pits and quarries may also provide suitable habitats.