Clutch size and egg production in Orthetrum nitidinerve Selys, 1841 (Anisoptera: Libellulidae): effect of body size and age


Clutch size is an important fitness component often quantified artificially by inducing oviposition in libellulid females. Female behavior and egg production of the yellow-veined skimmer, Orthetrum nitidinerve, were studied in northeast Algeria during its reproductive season. Data on reproductive behavior and biology of this Mediterranean endemic species has not been published previously. Males guarded territories within the wetland while females came only to lay their eggs and then went back to terrestrial habitat. In this study we induced oviposition, which depletes all the female eggs, to obtain estimations of egg deposition rate and subsequently clutch size. On average an induced clutch was ca. 2200 eggs while a natural one was about 970 eggs. Artificial clutches were positively correlated to body length but negatively related to mature lifespan. The rate of egg deposition was higher in the afternoon than in the morning, probably because of differences in temperature. During their mature lifespan females oviposited between one and three artificial clutches.

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