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Dragonfly Territorial Behavior as Related to Perching Height

Unidentified Dragonfly Perching at Pond Site, Gerber Reserve, KS

Yesterday the Field Ecology class set out to observe dragonfly territoriality at the Gerber Reserve and were somewhat successful in observing perching behavior.  Both the pond and the stream sites were used.  At each site, five perches of differing height were observed for two fifteen minute intervals.  Although not much was reported in the way of perching, numerous species of dragonflies were observed engaging in multiple types of behavior throughout the area of both sites. In particular, Libellula luctuosa (Widow Skimmers) seemed very prevalent this year, making up close to half of the dragonflies observed at the pond sit alone.  Additionally, they were noted to perch on the side of the perches instead of on the tops, perhaps largely contributing to the lack of perching behavior observed overall.

One dragonfly in particular at the pond site however was adamant about remaining where it was, perching on its chosen stand for very nearly the entirety of both fifteen minute sets.  As of now, it remains unidentified.

Wichita State University
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