Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 39-44

First online:

Female oviposition-site preference and egg hatching success in the damselfly Calopteryx splendens xanthostoma

  • Michael T. Siva-JothyAffiliated withDept. of Animal and Plant Science, University of Sheffield
  • , David Wingfield GibbonsAffiliated withStation Biologique de la Tour du Valat
  • , Deborarah PainAffiliated withRSPB, The Lodge

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By removing males and controlling the rate of water flow past oviposition patches in an experimental area, we showed that female Calopteryx splendens xanthostoma preferred to oviposit in fast flowing water rather than slow flowing water. A series of manipulations revealed the fitness benefits to females for this preference: eggs placed in fast-flowing water developed significantly faster and showed significantly lower mortality than eggs placed in slow-flowing water. A major factor determining this difference was the deposition and growth of encrusting algae which prevented the successful hatching of eggs in slow-flowing water.

Key words

Female choice Oviposition Damselfly Water flow rate Egg survival