Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 235–240

Sperm competition in the damselfly Enallagma hageni Walsh (Odonata: Coenagrionidae): benefits of multiple mating to males and females

  • Ola M. Fincke

DOI: 10.1007/BF00299623

Cite this article as:
Fincke, O.M. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1984) 14: 235. doi:10.1007/BF00299623


Sperm competition was investigated in the non-territorial damselfly, Enallagma hageni. Using irradiated (sterile) male techniques, the last male to mate was found to fertilize up to 95% \({\text{(}}\bar x = {\text{80\% )}}\) of the eggs of the first clutch laid after mating. Dissection of females collected before, during, and after copula showed that a male removes a maximum of 87% of the sperm by volume of a previous mate. These data verify an earlier estimate of lifetime reproductive success in this species which was based on mating success, and suggest that indirect dissection methods offer minimum estimates of sperm precedence. Male E. hageni have ample opportunity to benefit from sperm precedence, since at least 10% of the receptive females encountered had already mated once that day, but still contained complete or partial clutches of eggs. Female E. hageni benefit directly from high sperm precedence because it allows them to “exchange” matings for guarding service by males during oviposition bouts under water.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ola M. Fincke
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in Evolutionary Ecology and Behavior, Department of ZoologyThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, APOMiamiUSA

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