We studied parasitism by gut protozoans (Apicomplexa: Eugregarinidae) in the damselfly, Nehalennia irene (Hagen) (Odonata: Coenagrionidae).We tested whether there was any seasonal pattern, as has been found for other parasites of damselflies and which has implications for selection on emergence and breeding. Using aggregate data from 12 date-by-site comparisons involving five sites, we found that both prevalence and intensity of gregarine parasitism were seasonally unimodal. Parasitism first increased and then declined seasonally after peaking midseason. This damselfly species has shown seasonal increases in density followed by declines at several sites including a site sampled in this study. Therefore, similar seasonal changes in a directly transmitted parasite were expected and are now confirmed. Other factors that might account for seasonal changes in parasitism by gregarines are either unlikely or can be discounted including sampling of older damselflies mid-season but not late in the season, or sex biases in parasitism and overrepresentation of the more parasitized sex mid-season.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-011-2478-1
Journal Parasitology Research
Forbes, M, Mlynarek, J.J. (Julia J.), Allison, J. (Jane), & Hecker, K.R. (Kerry R.). (2012). Seasonality of gregarine parasitism in the damselfly, Nehalennia irene: Understanding unimodal patterns. Parasitology Research, 110(1), 245–250. doi:10.1007/s00436-011-2478-1