Ashwin’s Master’s thesis work on the gut bacterial communities of dragonflies has been published in Current Science. The paper is highlighted in the “In this issue” section of the journal and supported by a Cover image of a Globe Skimmer (Pantala flavescens) by Shantanu. Good work, both!
In this paper, we describe culturable gut bacterial communities of eight species of dragonflies collected from three different locations in South India. We found that the bacterial communities are largely host-specific, which is a bit surprising since dragonflies are thought to be generalist predators. We also found weaker effects of sampling location and season, suggesting that dragonflies might indeed specialize on different prey leading to variable gut bacterial communities. At the moment these are interesting results that lead us to new hypotheses; we are now testing these ideas with larger datasets and more comprehensive sampling of microbial communities of dragonflies.
You can access the paper here.