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first recorded in the UK in 1999. Now distributed from Devon to North Yorkshire.
I should be sequenced because...: I am genetically very interesting, I am in vogue, I am incredibly pretty and my presence cheer your summer walks
Insect are one of the oldest animals, they have been able to colonize terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems around the world, and is this ability to adapt that has helped then to create very complex relationships with many other groups, like plants, other animals and humans. They were first organisms to master flight and establish social societies, however due to their biological complexity many aspects of insect evolution are still poorly understood.
Whilst many other groups of animal were affected by mass extinction events, insects seem to have been able to survive without so many changes, due to their ability to quickly adapt to new situations and creating new opportunities, an example we can see is how some insect are developing methods to detoxify new insecticides and become resistant.
Unfortunately human activity seems to be introducing changes more rapidly that the insect’s ability to adapt and we are facing a massive loss of diversity and abundance of many species that we didn’t know existed in the first place.
Fortunately are starting to realize that not only are insects diverse, they are also of immense economic and medical importance, they affect our daily lives in both positive and negative ways, from pollinating our crops to spreading diseases such as malaria.
Consequently having the opportunity to sequence their genome will help scientists to understand how their ecological responses to changes in the environment are linked to their genetic makeup.
Odonates, the order to which The small red eyed damselfly belongs have complex mating behaviour and life cycle (alternating aquatic and terrestrial stages) make in them ideal to use as model for environmental monitoring, evolutionary ecology, and conservation genetics
The small red eyed damselfly is a very interesting species to study since they have being showing an increase in geographical distribution in Europe in the last 20 years which have been well documented but still not very well understood, one of the biggest concerns are the effect it will have in the migrating population, like size, genetic drift, speciation and local adaptation, as well as the impact that this new resident is having not only on other Damselflies but other species too.
The small red eyed damselfly can be easily mistaken with the large red Damselfly, which is a resident in the UK, check the picture down to see the main differences, a very difficult task if they flying about happily!!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Elegant, Curious and common
What's it like where you live?
ponds as well as slow flowing and brackish water, with lots of floating plants and algae
What's your favourite food?
small soft-bodied insects like aphids, mosquitos and gnats
What's your family life like?
I go through incomplete metamorphosis, so young ones look like a less defined version of the adult. we are quite an ancient group.
Are you endangered or threatened by anything?
No, not at all, on the contrary, my population has been slowy increasing in the UK
What's the best thing about you/interesting fact?
I used to visit the UK every year, but now I am so happy that I live here all year round. my presence on a pond makes me a good indicator of the good quality of the water.