Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 261–267 | Cite as

Variation in copulation duration in Mnais pruinosa pruinosa Selys (Odonata: Calopterygidae)

2. Causal factors
  • Michael T. Siva-Jothy
  • Yoshitaka Tsubaki


The Japanese calopterygid damselfly Mnais pruinosa pruinosa shows three distinct copulation durations (Siva-Jothy and Tsubaki 1989). A variety of factors which might influence copulation duration were investigated. Results indicate that the temperature in the vicinity of copulating pairs, the rate at which males encountered receptive females, territory quality, the rate of agonistic interactions between males, female gravidity and female ‘willingness’ to oviposit have no effect on copulation duration. The most significant factor was the location of the site at which males captured their mates. We suggest that under natural conditions the location of the capture site provides males with reliable, indirect information about a female's intention to oviposit: it is important for males of this species to acquire such information since sperm precedence, and therefore reproductive success, is in part dependant on the interval experienced by females between copulation and subsequent oviposition. The results are discussed and it is suggested that the three observed mate-securing tactics of M.p. pruinosa are facultative and information-dependant.


Natural Condition Reproductive Success Female Gravidity Agonistic Interaction Part Dependant 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael T. Siva-Jothy
    • 1
  • Yoshitaka Tsubaki
    • 2
  1. 1.The Department of Biology (Medawar)University College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.School of AgricultureNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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