observation of behavioral anomalies

Today I stumbled upon an interaction lasting about a minute and a half that I had previously only seen in illustrations and a few photographs.

Similar to the unusual pairing I found earlier this year, it has to do with reproductive behavior and anomalous connections. This time instead of an errant male attempting to create a new hybrid species (or more likely...displaying a deficiency in recognizing his own), a lone male attempted to dislodge a conspecific male from an already-established tandem by adding himself to the mix. Yep, an MMF three-way.

The lone male first flew at the pair that were scouting oviposition sites and bumped into them. He repeated that maneuver with the same lack of results before retreating. He flew back again and I just saw a scuffle, movement I could not make out in the distance, but the three dragonflies flew away in a line, all three connected.

The photos I took do not clearly display the triple connection and I am disappointed about that. In many years of watching dragonflies this is the first time I've witnessed this type of event. I tried to track them and fire off some shots even though I wasn't able to focus quick enough.

I cannot honestly say that I saw the ultimate outcome of this triple connection, which is unfortunate. There were dozens of Tramea lacerata ovipositing and flying in the area and it was hard to keep track. Shortly after I saw them I saw another scuffle and a male and female retreat to the trees while in copula--I cannot say for sure if it was the invading male and the female or just another pair.

I hope to see this again and get some better shots.

Posted by briangooding briangooding, August 14, 2017 04:44

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Black Saddlebags Tramea lacerata

Observer

briangooding

Date

August 13, 2017 04:47 PM CDT

Description

Tramea lacerata in anomalous triple connection

I did not get any good shots but you can count the wings in the first image and get an idea.

Here's some more background.

I hope to get a good photograph of this happening one day but it is interesting enough that I wanted to post.

Comments

Thumb

That's pretty interesting!

Posted by elizrose almost 4 years ago (Flag)

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