Jorge Bañuelos Irusta, Arrilton Araújo
Journal of Insect Science 7 (24), 1-10, (1 April 2007) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.007.2401
KEYWORDS: sexual selection, female choice, dragonfly, Pitimbu River
The sexual selection strategies of territorial Odonata that do not present courtship behavior is still not completely understood, especially the role of the females. Diastatops obscura Fabricius (Odonata: Libellulidae) females participate in mate selection in a passive manner, allowing copulation with the first male that captures them and afterwards choosing whether to oviposit or not. This study introduces the idea of female passive choice as an adaptative tactic in intersexual selection. Also discussed is the adaptative value of this tactic and its flexibility according to environmental conditions and reproductive strategies adopted by the males. A natural population of Diastatops obscura was observed in the Pitimbu River of northeast Brazil. Focal continuous and ad libitum techniques were used to record attempted copulation, copulation, and oviposition behavior, in addition to registering male territoriality. An estimate of individual reproductive success (IRS) was obtained by recording 187 reproductive events. Territorial males, mainly occupying areas near the river margin, achieved greater copulation and oviposition success (IRS = 0.371) than did satellite males (IRS = 0.028). Females that copulated with territorial males experienced, for the most part, only one copulation and oviposition event, while those that copulated with satellite males fled or performed a second copulation with a territorial male. Thus, the best tactic adopted by the D. obscura males was to occupy a territory providing the greatest access to females, while the females used passive choice for fitness optimization.