To harass or to respect: the economy of male persistence despite female refusal in a damselfly with scramble mate competition

In sexual conflict, males are often thought to gain fitness benefits from harassing females over mating. Yet when harassment itself incurs costs to males and if alternative, receptive females are available in a local population, theory predicts that when confronted with a female refusal, a male’s choice of persisting or retreating is determined in part by the likelihood of achieving a mating.