Directional asymmetry (DA) has received considerably less attention than fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in the literature. Evidence for DA, however, is building among insect taxa. We examined asymmetries in two wing traits within both sexes of the damselfly Calopteryx maculata (Beauvois) (Odonata: Calopterygidae) sampled from three sites in southeastern Ontario. After accounting for measurement error, we show that proximal segments within right fore and hind wings are consistently longer than those in the left in all but one sample group. Full wing lengths, however, exhibited FA rather than DA. Mean asymmetry values for both traits (segment and length) occurred in the direction of right-wingedness significantly more often than expected by chance. Patterns of asymmetry were generally consistent among the sexes and sites, although males tended to exhibit more pronounced DA. We suggest that the wings of C. maculata may undergo compensatory development, so that full lengths are more bilaterally symmetrical than their component parts.
Damselflies were collected, fore wings collected