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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Adult insect personality in the wild-Calopteryx splendens as a model for field studies

Golab, Maria J.; Sniegula, Szymon; Antol, Andrzej; Brodin, Tomas


Animal personality has received increasing interest and acknowledgment within ecological research over the past two decades. However, some areas are still poorly studied and need to be developed. For instance, field studies focused on invertebrates are currently highly underrepresented in the literature. More studies including a wider variety of traits measured and species tested are needed to improve our understanding of trait-correlation patterns and generalities. We studied nine behavioral traits, in the damselfly Calopteryx splendens, from an array of three experiments: (i) courtship, (ii) aggressiveness, and (iii) boldness, and calculated their repeatability. The behaviors were measured twice in two different contexts: (i) undisturbed territory and (ii) partially deteriorated territory. Traits related to courtship and boldness were all repeatable across the two contexts. Among aggressive behaviors, only one trait (number of hits) was repeatable. This work demonstrates, for the first time, the presence of within-population personality differences in an adult damselfly in the wild. We further propose C. splendens as a promising model species for testing personality in the wild under highly controlled environmental conditions.


Calopteryx splendens; field experiments; insect behavior; personality; repeatability

Published in

Ecology and Evolution
2021, Volume: 11, number: 24, pages: 18467-18476
Publisher: WILEY