Does water intake after oviposition indicate the end of oviposition and egg depletion in Odonata females?


Oviposition in odonate females is usually considered finished when the female leaves the oviposition site. However, considering that many species lay their eggs within a set of bouts it is difficult to distinguish between the end of the oviposition bout and the end of the oviposition episode because the females can change the oviposition site from one bout to another. In this study, post-oviposition drinking is suggested as behavioral indicator not only for the end of an oviposition episode but also for egg depletion in females, as investigated in 11 species (six zygopterans and five anisopterans) from five families. This behavior comprises water intake that the female performs at the end of oviposition by dipping the mouthparts in the water a few times before leaving the oviposition site. The role of downward bending of the abdomen displayed during water intake is also discussed.

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