Post-copulatory behaviour in Calopteryx females (Insecta, Odonata, Calopterygidae)


The post-copulatory behaviour of Calopteryx splendens females was studied under field and laboratory conditions. After termination of copulation females usually perch and bend the abdomen so that its apex touches the ground (post-copulatory posture). The post-copulatory posture is a consequence of sperm removal by males. Male and female microstructures (spines and scales) interact to move previous sperm from the female sperm storage organs to the outside during copulation stage I, after which moved sperm is located on the ovipositor. After termination of copulation females require an average of 45 seconds to brush off this sperm (N=21). The post-copulatory behaviour of females may also allow males to chase rival males before the females start to oviposit (prevention of disturbances). The present study shows no evidence of cryptic female choice in C. splendens.

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