Oviposition site selection in Oxyagrion microstigma Selys, 1876 (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) is related to aquatic vegetation structure


Oviposition site selection is crucial in the life history of odonates since females must find a suitable habitat to enhance larval survival and development. Males perch at these sites to get access to females to mate. Here we studied how different types of vegetation influence site selection of the damselfly Oxyagrion microstigma in a Neotropical savanna pond. We identified and quantified the aquatic plants on the study site and investigated the relationship between plant species density, male site fidelity and female oviposition. The results showed that male density increased with higher densities of the Cyperaceae Eleocharis sp. but with lower densities of the Pontederiaceae, Pontederia parviflora. The number of males was also positively correlated with the number of ovipositing females and the duration of oviposition bouts. The females were found ovipositing on sites with Eleocharis sp., which was used as an oviposition substrate. We suggest that the species composition of aquatic vegetation in the environment, as well as the distribution and abundance of plants, can be a major determinant factor of damselfly habitat selection.

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