MSc Thesis: Damselfly Research – Canada East Coast (2010)

Master thesis on damselflies in Canada

In 2010, I went with a PhD student to Canada for one Month. Our goal was to find a damselfly, called E. irene, and study them in a lot of different sites. This species of damselfly has a very species occurrence. There are actually two morphs of females: one that looks like a female, and one which looks like a male. Weird? Well, there is a benefit for females to look like males, so they get less harassment (energy consuming) from males.

I joined the researcher around Quebec and we went north along the Sint Laurence River. We went whole the way up to Sept-Îles. We ‘ve spent a lot of time in swamps looking for damselflies. We first had to figure out where to go. We used a combination of maps and google earth to figure out potential sites on the road. After a while, you start to get good in recognizing great damselfly places. So most of my time I was sweeping with an insect net in swamps. Armed with shoes, long pants in my socks, as there were a lot of leeches around as well. And a lot of mosquitoes, but that’s normal around swampy areas. We counted them, figured out how much of each female morph, how many males, etc. It was a great time.

Reference in acknowledgement: Iserbyt A, Van Gossum H, Stoks R (2012) Biogeographical Survey Identifies Consistent Alternative Physiological Optima and a Minor Role for Environmental Drivers in Maintaining a Polymorphism. PLoS ONE 7(2): e32648. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032648.

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