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Title: “Explaining male mate choice in Odonata”

Researcher: Jennette Fox, M.Sc. Candidate

Supervisor: Dr. Thomas Sherratt, Department of Biology, Carleton University


Jennette is interested in the mating preferences of wild damselflies (Odonata), more specifically do males have specific mate choices, are there subsets of males that have different mating behaviour, are there reasons for some male unresponsiveness and are there differences in the condition of females chosen?

Observations will be made in the field near ponds as well as in the laboratory. The response of males to the offer of ten different potential mate morphologies will be recorded as successful or unsuccessful tandems or non-sexual behaviour such as aggression, touching, flight response or non-responsive behaviour. Male properties such as sperm load, protein, fat and glycogen content will also be measured. Body size and egg load will be measured in females to determine if males are able to choose females with better reproductive capacity.