A damselfly eating another damselfly

Tang Hung Bun’s video clip, uploaded in January 2007 shows a male Ornate Coraltail (Ceriagrion cerinorubellum) chewing on another of the same species. It started eating from the head and worked its way to the tail, taking almost an hour to finish its meal, wasting nothing.

The Ornate Coraltail is a beautiful damselfly commonly seen in Singapore and Malaysia. It can be found in a range of habitats from urban gardens and forest edges to ponds and drains.

Now what do dragonflies and damselflies (odonates) eat? These insects are fierce carnivores, catching prey on the wing. They usually perch on a twig, a plant or a rock, waiting for a prey to pass by. When the right sized insect appears, it darts out and seizes it with its spiny legs, returning to its original perch to consume it. However, if the prey is small, the latter may be consumed on the wing. Insect prey includes flies, bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, winged ants and of course other odonates.

Predators of these odonates include birds like bee-eaters LINK and Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis), bitterns and herons.

Tang Hung Bun
Singapore
December 2013

2 Responses

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