I've been searching for information on how and where different
odonate species lay their eggs, just to include in a field guide I'm
writing, and it's surprisingly difficult information to find in the
literature, often no more than a casual mention ("pair in tandem seen
laying eggs in floating cattail stalks"). After looking through my
own photos, I've been doing Google Image searches on species after
species to find photos of egg-laying pairs, and they are shockingly
infrequent. I just found nothing or almost nothing for a whole bunch
of common Enallagma species that I looked up. Lots of photos of pairs
in wheel or in tandem, but very few actually laying eggs. As this is
something we see all the time, I suspect photographers haven't spent
as much effort on this as they could - myself included.
Each odonate photo is a data point, and with 10-20 photos of some
common bluet ovipositing in different parts of its range, we'd have
at least some idea of the sorts of places it lays its eggs - on water
surface or up on emergent vegetation, in dead or live plants or
detritus, which plant species, male in contact with substrate or
supported only by female, etc. This wouldn't be a complete survey,
but it would be better than nothing. Some research papers, of course,
have contributed this info, but they are for precious few species.
Any endophytically ovipositing species is fair game here, not only
damselflies but also darners, a bit more of a challenge. Exophytic
oviposition, of course, is a lot more difficult to photograph, but
accumulating more photos of that would also be great.
So here's another challenge for the upcoming season. Get those
photos. Post them on your website!
Sorry for the multiple posting.
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
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