Dragonfly flight: morphology, performance and behaviour

Odonata flight performance capabilities and behaviour and their body and wing form diversity are explored, and their interrelationships discussed theoretically and from observational evidence. Overall size and particularly wing loading appear predictably to be related to speed range. In Anisoptera at least, relatively short bodies and long wings should favour high speed manoeuvrability, though further…

Reproductive behaviour of a North African endemic damselfly, Platycnemis subdilatata (Odonata: Platycnemididae) and probable senescence effects

Although the endemic damselfly, Platycnemis subdilatata Selys, 1849, is widespread in the Maghreb, many aspects of its reproductive behaviour, biology and ecology are still unstudied. One particular feature of this species is that its coloration pattern continues to change during maturation and afterwards, which makes it a good model for assessing age effects on behavioural…

Behaviour and body size: plasticity and genotypic diversity in larval Ischnura elegans as a response to predators (Odonata: Coenagrionidae)

Phenotypic plasticity represents an adaptive tool in organisms including odonates to cope with heterogeneous environmental conditions. However, while some odonate species can occupy various changing habitats, other species are adapted to a narrow range of environmental conditions. Commonly, behavioural modifications are applied to avoid detection and encounters with predators. But reduced behavioural activity results in…

Signalling with clear wings during territorial behaviour and courtship of Chlorocypha cancellata (Odonata, Chlorocyphidae)

The reproductive behaviour of the damselfly Chlorocypha cancellata (Chlorocyphidae) was filmed at 600 frames per second. Different flight styles including straight, forward flight, threat and courtship display were analysed with respect to changes in wing beat frequency and phase relationships of fore and hind wings. The analysis revealed significant differences in the flight style between…

Mate guarding and other aspects of reproductive behaviour in Petalura gigantea (Odonata: Petaluridae)

Territorial behaviour and mate guarding are important components of mating systems in various insect groups, including the Odonata. This paper reports observations of male territorial behaviour associated with potential ovipositing sites, and postcopulatory, non-contact mate guarding in Petalura gigantea. This is the first unambiguous and detailed report of mate guarding in the Petaluridae. Additional observations…

Slow-motion analysis of female refusal behaviour in dragonflies

By means of slow-motion film analysis we found new female refusal behaviour patterns against male harassment in a variety of Odonata species. Often, females could escape simply by flying faster than males. Due to the morphological preconditions, there were differences in the two suborders. In Anisoptera, several behavioural specialities were analysed: (a) females of Aeshna…

Reproductive behaviour and the system of signalling in Neurobasis chinensis (Odonata, Calopterygidae) – a kinematic analysis

The reproductive behaviour of the damselfly Neurobasis chinensis (Calopterygidae) was filmed at 300 and 600 frames per second in Thailand in spring 2009. This was subsequently viewed in slow motion for detailed analysis. Altogether we observed 26 matings at two different sites. Besides visual observations of behaviour of male–female encounters at the reproductive sites, we…

Larval habitat and behaviour of Phenes raptor (Odonata: Petaluridae): a review of current knowledge, with new observations

Phenes raptor is one of only two petalurid dragonflies with a documented non-fossorial larval lifestyle. There have been few reported observations of larvae and their habitat, and the behaviour and ecology of this unique South American species remain largely unknown. This paper provides a review of previously published and unpublished information, and new observations on…