Published May 27, 2022 | Version v1
Journal article Open

First Record of Microsporidia Infection in the Damselfly Ischnura elegans Larvae: Temperature and Predator Cue Effects on the Host's Life History

  • 1. Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences, al. Adama Mickiewicza 33, 31-120 Kraków, Poland
  • 2. Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, ul. Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
  • 3. Department of Biology, University of Lund, Sölvegatan 35, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden


Here, we report, for the first time, a microsporidian infection in laboratory-reared larvae
of the damselfly Ischnura elegans. Infected larvae originated from field-collected adult females,
which were caught in southern Poland in August 2020 (the second half of the flight season). Higher
rearing temperatures and the presence of predator cues from the invasive alien signal crayfish
(Pacifastacus leniusculus) increased the number of infected larvae. Infected larvae had distorted
wing development, and all individuals died before emergence. Hence, microsporidian infection in
I. elegans larvae impacted damselfly morphology and life history. We propose that warming tem-
perature and stress caused by non-consumptive effects triggered by invasive alien predators are
possible factors that produce negative fitness consequences following microsporidian infection in a
key amphibious ectotherm.


Funding: The research leading to these results was funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021, project no. 2019/34/H/NZ8/00683 (ECOPOND). A.A. and S.S. were supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant 2019/33/B/NZ8/00521) and the Institute of Nature Conser- vation. A.M.L. was supported by the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University (N18/DBS/000003).


Antoł et al. 2022 (Diversity).pdf

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