Alternative oviposition tactics in Zygonyx torridus (Kirby) (Odonata: Libellulidae): modes and sequential flexibility


Zygonyx torridus inhabits waterfalls, rapids and riffle sections. Males patrol over these sites. After copulation the partners perform an extensive search while flying in tandem over a wide range. Behavioural studies in Mauritius 1997 and 2014 showed that there is considerable plasticity in oviposition behaviour. Three main modes could be distinguished: (A) egg-laying in tandem during flight; (B) the female placing the eggs while dipping in flight without physical contact with the male; and (C) the female placing the eggs when settled without physical contact with the male. On several occasions two modes, and in a single case all three types, were observed within one oviposition sequence. In odonates, such a high degree of plasticity in reproductive behaviour was not reported previously.

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