Using Crowdsourced Data to Analyze Patterns in Odonate Phenology

First Author's Department

Biological Sciences

Second Author's Department

Biological Sciences



Document Type



The influence of long-term climate change on phenology for insects of the order Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) has been well documented in several parts of the world, showing a negative correlation between emergence date and temperature. Likewise, previous studies have shown that spring-emerging species, with an overwintering diapause, are more susceptible to climate change than those species emerging later in the summer. This study analyzed the responsiveness of local odonates by utilizing data gathered from a recently established, ongoing biodiversity inventory of Odonata residing on the campus of UVA-Wise in Wise, VA. Odonates collected in Spring 2015 experienced a much colder winter than the specimens collected in 2017 which allowed for the testing of links between any earlier emergences and warmer temperatures. If winter temperatures increased, then it would be expected that adult odonate emergences will occur earlier in the year. First capture dates for 24 species of spring-emerging odonates were compared for 2015 and 2017 and these first capture dates served as a proxy for emergence dates. The statistical analyses revealed that the 2017 first capture dates are significantly earlier than the 2015 dates (p = 0.036) for just the damselflies. This link observed here between temperatures and earlier emergences for damselflies, but not with dragonflies, is for a very limited scope and time frame, but is consistent with other research linking the effects of climate to larger-scale patterns specifically just for damselflies.