Mate recognition and mating behavior in Cordulegaster erronea (The Tiger Spiketail dragonfly) Add Video

This is a 2 minute video of my field research on the Tiger Spiketail dragonfly (Cordulegaster erronea). The Tiger spiketail is one of the coolest dragonflies, and much of it's life-history is still shrouded by a lack of knowledge. Mostly by dumb luck, I was able to capture two different mating episodes (really pre-copulation activities) on tape. This is the way it went down:

The patrolling males upon seeing the ovipositing females quickly approached them, and then grabbed the thorax before flying in tandem up toward the canopy. In both cases, the entire sequence was very quick and lasted only a few seconds.

The video was entered into the Entomological Society of America's Youtube contest (visit the site at check out all of the great videos that were entered).

The research was conducted through Rutgers University where I'm in the Entomology program. Mike May is my advisor. The video boils down three years of study into a quick 2 minutes set to a really cool soundtrack. My son Sam produced it and was instrumental in bypassing my glacial learning curve on the editing software. Despite the fact that he continues to maintain that my video "is the most boring video of all time", he really did an amazing job polishing it. I hope you enjoy it and be sure your speakers are turned on, it has a kicking soundtrack from Traffic's John Barleycorn Must Die. I know, can you believe it? A dragonfly video with a cool soundtrack, awesome right? Enjoy!

Posted by David Moskowitz on October 3, 2009 at 12:14 PM 22456 Views

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