Contact Guarding In Odonata

walwyn Thu, 05/14/2009 - 22:34
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After copulation the males of some species of dragonflies (and other insect species), accompanies the female whilst she is ovipositing (laying eggs). This behaviour is termed 'guarding' and can take two forms:

1) Contact guarding where the male is in tandem with the female. 2) Non contact guarding, where the male either settles or hovers above or near by the female.

In some cases contacting guarding precedes non contact guarding.1

This sequence of a pair of Ruddy Darters (Sympetrum sanguineum) shows both forms of guarding.