BLUE SPRITE MATING & OVIPOSITING

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“Between September and November 2014, I had a few opportunities to witness the Blue Sprite damselflies (Pseudagrion microcephalum, family Coenagrionidae) engaged in their mating positions, while checking out local pond sites (above).

“The most romantic pair I witnessed had actually selected a water lily upon which to perform their nuptial embrace (above).

“When coupled in this wheel position, the rhythmic undulations of the male abdomen may be observed, as he executes his task of sperm displacement and attempts to scoop away any remnant sperm of rival males that may be lingering inside her.

“A video clip of these damselflies in union (with abdominal undulations) may be previewed below:

“After mating, the task of ovipositing (egg laying) soon follows, with the male still firmly attached to the female (below).

“If necessary, the female will not hesitate to immerse herself underwater to insert her eggs into the stems and roots of aquatic vegetation (below).


“Video clips of the female ovipositing may be previewed below:

“After the initial round of ovipositing, the pair may perch and take a short break, with the possessive male still clinging on to her ‘neck’ (below).

“When the next round of ovipositing resumes, the male may continue to accompany the female, but I have also witnessed ‘impatient’ males that simply abandon the female and leave her to continue ovipositing on her own.”

Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
25th November 2014

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