To stay or not to stay: Decision-making during territorial behaviour of Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis and Calopteryx splendens splendens (Zygoptera: Calopterygidae)


The effect of copulation and presence of predators on territorial behaviour of male Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis (in southern France) and of male C. splendens splendens (in northern Germany) was studied in nature. A male obtaining a copulation early in the day often secured more copulations later that day than did males not obtaining an early copulation. Predators such as Green frogs, Rana esculenta, and water spiders, Dolomedes sp., affected subsequent behaviour of male Calopteryx that they attacked but failed to catch. A male C. haemorrhoidalis that had only recently occupied a territory when attacked by a spider, vacated the territory immediately, whereas a male first attacked after having occupied a territory for more than three hours and that had already courted females there remained, while avoiding the predator’s immediate location. Results are discussed in the context of the value of the territory as a resource.

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