Thursday, September 30, 2010

Behaviours of Libellago Lineata

I was fortunate to witness some interesting behaviours of Libellago Lineata recently.  I saw a few pairs of males involving in territorial fights on separate occasions.  When they fight, the two males would confront  and face one another in mid air. They hover a few seconds and make forward movements but without contact.  Usually, one would flee the area after a minute or so but it would come back shortly to challenge the temporary winning male again until the utimate victor is declared!

(Two males involving in territorial fight - 29 Sep 2010)

The winning male has the right of the territory usually within a small area of not more than 3 metres.  I was told that female Lineata normally perch high up in trees and would come down to find a mate when they are ready to do so.  I have seen 3 mating pairs within 2 days and what was interesting is that unlike other damselflies where they usually mate for a long period (sometime in hours), Lineata only mates for about 20 to 30 seconds! Within such a short period of mating time, getting a good shot at it depends alot on luck.  I only managed to shoot about 20 shots from the 3 mating pairs add together, most of which are not of the best quality but I am happy to have finally got a good record mating shot of this species.  

(A mating pair in wheel formation - 29 Sep 2010)
After separation from mating, the female would perch on nearby floating log or large tree roots to lay eggs by submersing its adbominal tip into the water.

(A female dips the tip of its adbomen into water to lay eggs)

Based on my observation, the ovipositing process takes about 15 to 30 minutes.  During this period, the male will guard the ovipositing female from the disturbance by rival males by perching very nearby.  The female does not lay its eggs on a fixed spot, it would crawl usually forward as they ovipositing.  Sometimes they would fly away for a second or two but return to the perch.  During this egg laying process, there are good apportunities to shoot both the male and females in a single frame ie. side by side, back to back, facing each other, etc.

(A male guarding the ovipositing female)

(A male guarding the ovipositing female)

(A male guarding the ovipositing female)


Antony said...

Really interesting article Anthony and super shots of the mating pair along with the female ovipositing. Were you using a tripod for those images?

Anthony Quek said...

Thanks for your comments, Antony!
Yes, all images were taken with tripod except the flight shot.

JRandSue said...

Stunning images.

Anthony Quek said...

Thank you, JRandSue!

Erica Roush said...

Thanks for this great post. I am doing a project with prezi and needed photos and reliable info for my dragonfly presentation. Your blog post was very helpful and the pics are beautiful.Thanks for sharing your knowledge of this amazing insect.

-Erica Roush, a student at the
Univ. of South Alabama in EDM310.