Males do not catch up with females in pursuing flight in Calopteryx splendens (Odonata: Calopterygidae)


In high densities males of Calopteryx splendens showed alternative reproductive behaviour at the river Oker in northern Germany. One of several tactics was to pursue females. Pursuing flight was filmed in summer 2006 in slow motion. Frame by frame analysis showed that males fly in irregular flight patterns: they showed different lengths of wing beat phases in comparison to females which fly more steadily. Females had significantly lower wing beat frequencies than males. The flight patterns of males depended on their position to other pursuing males and to the pursued female. The possible causes of these flight differences are discussed.

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