Research reveals wonders of dragonflies, damselflies
A team of researchers from the University of Lagos and the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Dr Temitope Kemabonta, Dr Babasola Adu and Dr Temitope Onuminya, have completed a two year-long research on dragonflies and damselflies and revealed that they are useful in detecting climate change and the quality of water bodies.
The researchers, whose project was themed, Digitisation of Species of Odonata in Nigeria, and funded by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and the Biodiversity Information for Development, made this known during a stakeholder meeting on the project held last Tuesday at the University of Lagos, Akoka.
Kemabonta, who spoke for the team, described dragonflies and damselflies as edible insects that contain crude protein.
“Dragonflies and damselflies are carnivores and they are edible as they contain 45 to 65 per cent crude protein. They are medicinal and magical, as they are used to foretell a time of great change and transition. They are used to monitor climate change. They are also often used to monitor the existence of fresh water. They are an indicator of ecosystem quality, wetland quality because some species follow clean water while others follow dirty water.”
At the meeting, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, Prof. Oluwole Familoni, congratulated the team for the completion of the project, which he described as a laudable feat that would help to inform Nigerians about the importance of Zoology as a course of study.
On his part, the Head of the Department of Zoology, Prof. Joseph Saliu, called for an end to the elimination of animal species. “Animal species are interdependent. When we eliminate one species, we disrupt the natural balance of things. This should change our attitude towards species because they maintain a form of ecological balance. Everything must be kept alive so that life can be maintained.”