Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 77–91

Detection and Avoidance of Fish Predators by Adult Enallagma Damselflies

  • Merrylee Ann McGuffin
  • Robert L. Baker
  • Mark R. Forbes

Reproductive success of iteroparous insects depends on their own survival as well as that of their offspring and thus adults should consider risk of predation to both themselves and their offspring when selecting a suitable place to lay eggs. We surveyed species composition of Enallagma damselflies from sites in eastern Ontario and found that, similar to studies in Michigan, USA, Enallagma boreale does not co-exist with fish, whereas E. signatum is apparently restricted to sites with fish. E. ebrium is found at fish and fishless sites. Laboratory experiments on these species showed no effect of chemical cues of fish presence on propensity to oviposit or number of eggs released. By using field enclosures, we found adult E. ebrium could detect and avoid fish during visits to a site, but females visiting fish sites did not significantly reduce oviposition duration.


Zygoptera Enallagma habitat selection oviposition predator detection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merrylee Ann McGuffin
    • 1
  • Robert L. Baker
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mark R. Forbes
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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