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Ovo-viviparity in the Odonata? The case of Heliocypha perforata (Zygoptera: Chlorocyphidae)

posted on 22.12.2014, 14:26 by H. G. Salindra K. Dayananda, Roger L. Kitching

In this paper we record a likely instance of ovo-viviparity in a chlorocyphid damselfly from south-western China. If confirmed, this will be the first record of live birthing in the Odonata: indeed in any member of the Palaeoptera. The widespread Asian damselfly Heliocypha perforata (Percheron, 1835) is proposed to be, at least facultatively, viviparous. A female was observed and filmed appearing to deposit pro-larvae directly onto the exposed surface of a half-submerged branch in a small stream in Xishuangbanna Autonomous Dai Prefecture, Yunnan, China. The species is known to deposit eggs in bark crevices close to water but no previous case of actual live births is known.