Oviposition behavior and substrate utilization by Lestes congener (Odonata: Lestidae)


Here we describe tandem oviposition (contact guarding) in Lestes congener and the use of dry stems of the sedge Eleocharis obtusa as oviposition substrates at a pond in New York State. Pairs formed away from the pond, then flew to Eleocharis patches on dry land 0.5–3 m from the water’s edge. Some copulations occurred at or near oviposition sites; these pairs began ovipositing immediately afterwards. Eggs were placed singly in a line of incisions down the length of the plant stem, and several to many different pairs might utilize a single stem over a period of time. However, less than 1% of the surface area of such stems possessed incision scars, although, in regions of stems with a high density of incisions, some eggs were close enough to be touching. Lone males were present in small numbers at the pond, but male harassment of tandems was minimal and we observed no female take-overs. Some females remained to complete oviposition alone after being deserted by their mates. Lone females were most common in late afternoon, when few lone males remained at the pond and take-over risks were small.

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