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Keywords:

  • constraint;
  • copulation;
  • damselfly;
  • life history;
  • maturation;
  • polymorphism

Abstract

Time constraints are critical for reproductive success. To understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of morph frequency in the female-dimorphic damselfly Ischnura senegalensis, we compared two different morphs for two important time constraints on female reproductive output, i.e. post-emergence sexual maturation and prolonged copulation. The females of both morphs achieved sexual maturation 4–5 days after emergence, suggesting that the rate of sexual mutation does not result in morph-specific fitness. The copulation durations declined with the time of onset of copulation in both morphs. Consequently, all copulations terminated at approximately 12:00 hours. Because females show foraging and oviposition activity only after copulation, the copulation duration does not result in morph-specific time constraints. These two important time constraints do not account for morph-specific reproductive success and do not affect the evolutionary equilibrium of morph frequency in I. senegalensis.