Using field surveys and histological methods, we show that a dragonfly species (Sympetrum internum) has an effective resistance, not seen previously in other odonates, to a mite parasite (Arrenurus planus). This mite is a generalist parasite known to effectively engorge on several other odonate species. We argue that selection is likely weak, favouring counter adaptations of Arrenurus planus to Sympetrum internum, in part because other host species are available. We further argue that this pattern is possibly linked to the fact that the mode of resistance is relatively novel, and because Sympetrum internum is rare compared to another host species, Sympetrum obtrusum, at our study site. Although resistance of Sympetrum internum is quite effective against Arrenurus planus, Arrenurus planus larvae still attach to this species, but less often than they attach to Sympetrum obtrusum. Attachment to unsuitable hosts may reflect constraints operating on Arrenurus planus larvae during host discovery. Such factors influencing the evolution of resistance, when several potential host species exist, have not received much attention.
Dragonflies either netted and released or collected