After mating, the female damselfly is ready to lay its eggs. Different species has different methods of egg-laying process. I particularly like the Heliocypha and Libellago species where the male will guard the ovipositing female from the disturbance by rival males. The entire egg-laying process usually last about 1-2 minutes. During this short period, the female would fly to different spots to lay its eggs while the male would follow closely wherever it goes.
The male of some species such as Lestes praemorsus decipiens probably feel safer guarding its female by remaining in tandem through the egg laying process.
Most damselfly species would either lay eggs above the waterline or at the waterline. The most amazing one are those that lay its eggs below the waterline such as the Dysphaea dimidiata.
One of the interesting behaviors to watch in Damselflies is mating! What time do they usually mate? For how long? Any foreplay? What do they do after mating? etc.
I was fortunate to observe 7 pairs of mating damselflies at Gunung Belumut Recreation Forest during our recent recce trips. I have seen damselfly species mated for hours but those that I saw at Belumut were much shortly. Here are some interesting mating facts of 3 uncommon species that I was lucky to capture within the same day:
Libellago aurantiaca & Heliocypha biforata : mating time 11 am to 3 pm, female suddenly appears from no where and starts mating (in wheel position or love shape formation), mating lasts approximately 90 sec, after separation, female immediately lays eggs at nearby log while male stands guard. With such a short mating time, it is not easy to capture them in pixels not to mention refining your shots. I was lucky to be at the right place and right time.
Neurobasis chinensis : mating time 4 to 6 pm; male and female would attach together in tandem first usually about 1 to 2 mins, very skittish when they are in this tandem position. No point moving closer as they would not allow you to do so. It is best to let them settle down to form a mating wheel position; mating lasts more than 4 minutes; after separation, male & female go separate way, not sure whether female lay eggs immediately.
(This is a Neurobasis longipes instead of Neurobasis chinensis)