Correlates of male mating success in two natural populations of the damselfly lschnura graellsii (Odonata: Coenagrionidae)


Dr A. Cordero, Area de Ecoloxía, Universidade de Vigo, E.U.E.T. Industrias Forestais, Avda Buenos Aires s/n, 36002 Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain.



  • 1Two natural populations of Ischnura graellsii were studied in north-west Spain by means of mark-release-recapture techniques. Recaptured males were a random sample of the original marked population with regard to date of marking. At O Rosal a greater proportion of young males than old males disappeared after marking; at Lourizán recaptured males were larger than unrecaptured ones.
  • 2The number of matings observed in both populations showed great daily variation. Most of the variation is accounted for by climatic variables. Most males (56–65%) and many females (41–45%) were never observed to mate.
  • 3Male LMS was highly correlated with lifespan in both populations. At O Rosal, male LMS was also positively correlated with body length, and mated males were larger than unmated males. This surprising result for a non-territorial species was due to the positive correlation between date of marking and size. There was a positive correlation between body size and mobility for males at O Rosal, but mobility was not correlated with male LMS.
  • 4As predicted by sexual selection theory, the standardized variance in male LMS was greater than in female LMS. Variation in mature lifespan explained 16% of variance in male LMS at Lourizán and 28% at O Rosal.