Breeding behaviour of the Coromandel Marsh Dart Damselfly (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae: Ceriagrion coromandelianum (Fabricius)) in central India

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Nilesh R. Thaokar
Payal R. Verma
Raymond J. Andrew


Ceriagrion coromandelianum (Fabricius) is one of the most common damselflies in the Indian subcontinent.  It flies among bushes and breeds in stagnant pools, small garden tanks, tubs and ornamental cement ponds containing submerged and/or floating vegetation.  The oviposition behaviour of C. coromandelianum was observed at the botanical garden of Hislop College, Nagpur, India, where small underground cement tubs are utilized to grow macrophytes.  C. coromandelianum displays a refined hierarchy of preferences for oviposition and chooses floating leaves of Nymphaea nouchali (69%) over Lemna paucicostata (23%) and submerged Hydrilla verticillata (8%).  In an uninterrupted oviposition bout, the female deposits 283 eggs in 16 rows (N=5) on the under surface of the N. nouchali leaf.  The tiny leaves of L. paucicostata holds 7.8 eggs in 4.8 rows (N=10).  In H. verticillata, the internode region of the stem can house 25.4 eggs (N=10).  One or two eggs are also found neatly inserted in the thin leaf base of H. verticillata. Decaying plant material is never used for oviposition.  The present investigation also clearly demonstrates that the choice of oviposition substrate not only depends upon the presence of aquatic species in the water body but also on the spatial location of the oviposition site.

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