Western Forktail Damselfly

Western Forktail Damselfly, Vancouver Island, BC
Western Forktail Damselfly, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Although The Western Forktail Damselfly tends to be more common around streams than other forktails, especially slow, grassy or sedge-dominated ones, they also select the habitats of alkaline ponds with mud substrates and marshy edges of lakes.

This species tends to avoid acidic conditions. Away from breeding sites, the western forktail can be found along forest trails basking in patches of filtered sunlight.

Western forktail larvae feed on a wide variety of aquatic insects, such as mosquito larvae, other aquatic fly larvae, mayfly larvae, and freshwater shrimp.

Western forktail adults will eat almost any soft-bodied flying insect including mosquitoes, flies, small moths, mayflies, and flying ants and termites.

Male western forktails are usually outnumbered by females in most situations. They are most likely to be found in dense vegetation and rarely out over the open water. It is likely that females only copulate once and all the eggs she lays are fertilized by that single male’s sperm. Female western forktails also ovipositor alone, horizontally on floating vegetation with short flights between egg deposition.

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