Journal of Undergraduate Research


damselfies, patagonia, phylogeographic study utilizing EPIC


Life Sciences




While working on my original project, “In Situ Hybridization of Opsins in Odonata,” I encountered abundant setbacks that led to refocusing my efforts on a similar project. Patagonian Odonata is one of the most well known insect groups in South America. Within the order Odonata there are two main suborders, encompassing dragonflies and damselflies. It is composed of 36 species in 18 different genera, with 60% of the species and 40% of the genera endemic to the region. We selected two damselfly species, Rhionaeshna variegata and Cyanallagma interruptum to perform the first phylogeographic study of Patagonian Insects. They are the most widespread damselfly species of the region, and are found in diverse habitats with varying dispersal ability. Phylogeography is a strong tool in exploring the complex process of historical diversification, however only moderated attention has been given to Patagonia from a phylogeographic perspective. The species we selected are very suitable for this type of study due to their abundance, the ease of collecting and their wide range of dispersal capability.

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