DAMSELFLIES OVIPOSITING AND MATING

Heliocypha biforata
Heliocypha biforata

“In late March 2016, I was seeking solace and solitude beside a forest stream in Malaysia, with my eyes fixed upon the resident damselflies (Heliocypha biforata, family Chlorocyphidae). The wing tips of the male are black, with metallic violet highlights (above).

Heliocypha biforata
Heliocypha biforata

“In contrast, the female lacks these patterns on her wings (above).

Heliocypha biforata
Heliocypha biforata

“As the sun rose higher in the sky, the intensity of damselfly activity heightened. While a female was busy laying her eggs into a wet branch in mid-stream, a male watched over her intently (above). At regular intervals, he would flick his body upwards, in an apparent declaration that the branch, as well as the female, belonged to him. Occasionally, he would also take short flights to keep rival males away, while enticing other females in the neighbourhood at the same time.

Heliocypha biforata
Heliocypha biforata

“Soon after, a receptive female was lured by his charms, and the pair adopted their nuptial embrace upon the branch, mating in full view of the first female (above).

Heliocypha biforata
Heliocypha biforata

“The mating dance consisted of rhythmical abdominal pulsations by the male, but it was all over in a minute. Without delay, the second female proceeded to oviposit on the very same branch (above).

“A video clip of the male guarding the first ovipositing female, and then mating with a second female may be previewed here:

“A video clip of the second female ovipositing may be previewed here:”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
11th June 2016

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