A damselfly eating another damselfly

on 30th December 2013

Tang Hung Bun’s video clip, uploaded in January 2007 shows a male Ornate Coraltail (Ceriagrion cerinorubellum) chewing on another of the same species. It started eating from the head and worked its way to the tail, taking almost an hour to finish its meal, wasting nothing.

The Ornate Coraltail is a beautiful damselfly commonly seen in Singapore and Malaysia. It can be found in a range of habitats from urban gardens and forest edges to ponds and drains.

Now what do dragonflies and damselflies (odonates) eat? These insects are fierce carnivores, catching prey on the wing. They usually perch on a twig, a plant or a rock, waiting for a prey to pass by. When the right sized insect appears, it darts out and seizes it with its spiny legs, returning to its original perch to consume it. However, if the prey is small, the latter may be consumed on the wing. Insect prey includes flies, bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, winged ants and of course other odonates.

Predators of these odonates include birds like bee-eaters LINK and Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis), bitterns and herons.

Tang Hung Bun
December 2013

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

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