Reproductive behaviour and the system of signalling in Neurobasis chinensis (Odonata, Calopterygidae) – a kinematic analysis


The reproductive behaviour of the damselfly Neurobasis chinensis (Calopterygidae) was filmed at 300 and 600 frames per second in Thailand in spring 2009. This was subsequently viewed in slow motion for detailed analysis. Altogether we observed 26 matings at two different sites. Besides visual observations of behaviour of male–female encounters at the reproductive sites, we analysed their flight cinematographically by measuring velocity, wing beat frequency, phase relationships of fore- and hind wings, and described the flight paths of different flight manoeuvres. Wing clapping by the perched insects was analysed in detail. Also filmed were alternative reproductive behaviour and avoidance behaviour when attacked by a hunting spider. By analysing the video footage in slow motion, details of male flight with hind wings held motionless, a typical flight-style for this genus, were revealed. The significance of this behaviour in interactions with conspecifics is discussed.

Issue section: Article