Table of Contents
Journal of Insects
Volume 2014, Article ID 542489, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/542489
Research Article

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

1SKK Landschaftsarchitekten, Lindenplatz 5, 5430 Wettingen, Switzerland
2Institute of Natural Resource Sciences, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Grüental, 8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland

Received 27 November 2013; Accepted 18 February 2014; Published 27 March 2014

Academic Editor: José A. Martinez-Ibarra

Copyright © 2014 Markus Müller et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

(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.