Why do Damselflies bask in the sun?

Why do Damselflies bask in the sun?
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Whenever I spot a damselfly, they seem to be basking in the sun. They move from stem to stem, for a better sunlight. Is there any particular reason as to why they do this :grey_question:

Ceriagrion cerinorubellum, or the orange-tailed marsh dart or the bi-coloured damsel, can be seen basking in the sunlight on a Colocasia leaf.
Date: 12/9/2019
Place: Ernakulam, Kochi, Kerala

Copera marginipes, or the yellow bush dart, settling on a twig to receive maximum light.
Date: 12/9/2019
Place: Ernakulam, Kochi, Kerala

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Good to see a new system being introduced : from Curiosity- to- frontier research!
Please tell us how you identified this as C marginipes? Any reference on damsel flies in Kochi/ Kerala/ west coast? @Akshitha

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I referred this pdf on the common dragonflies and damselflies of Kerala by the Zoological survey of India :smile:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://faunaofindia.nic.in/PDFVolumes/hpg/024/index.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwj3mbaQuc_kAhXHb30KHdDLDV4QFjACegQIBxAB&usg=AOvVaw2Jo3CZMI4MiQhugI-s8_D_&cshid=1568437259026

Correct link is
http://faunaofindia.nic.in/PDFVolumes/hpg/024/index.pdf
Rest of your link is google cruft to track you and whoever else clicks the link.

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You may notice that on cloudy or overcast days, odonates are rarely seen because they need some bit of heat to function. In the mornings, they rest on various plants while basking in the sun to absorb heat or make their own heat by shaking their wings. Once their body is warm, it’s take-off time. Dragonflies and damselflies spend most of the rest of their day flying around to catch food. In fact, they are almost always moving. How exhausting! If they stop zipping around, they could end up as a snack for some other animal.

https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/dragonfly-and-damselfly

Refer to this link!
They are warming up it says!

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@Akshitha insects are all “cold blooded” (this term worked well during my childhood, but is incorrect or at best inaccurate. You should read up insect thermoregulation). But in essence the damsel fly could be basking to increase temperature in its thorax. Thus warming up the flight muscles.
Here is a question though. Are they seeking sunlight or are they seeking the highest perch from where they could be able to see prey better?
I wonder what kind of behaviour would categorise basking and which would categorise perching for hunting. Any thoughts?

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How do I identify the Google cruft? :confused:

That’s actually very interesting. Wow. :+1: :sparkles:

An interesting query. :blush:
The two damselflies mentioned above were most certainly basking in the light. As I moved my hand over it, making a shadow with my hand over the leaf…it moved away to the spot nearby where the shadow of my hand didn’t fall.
I guess when it is focused on catching prey, shade and light shouldn’t concern it as it’s major focus is the prey. Also, since they feed on mosquitoes and other small insects normally seen on water, I think it’d perch somewhere near water bodies for hunting.

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Polarized UV is a very important factor in visual acuity of insects.


So my speculations must be false :sweat_smile:

Found something interesting in the above pdf:
“It is known that females from many
different semi-aquatic insect species erroneously lay their eggs on shiny surfaces that they seem to have mistook for water. Examples are parked cars, black gravestones, glass buildings, and sometimes even oil pits. Female dragonflies attempted to lay eggs on an artificial, horizontally polarized surface, assuming it to be water. Similarly, male dragonflies approach polarized surfaces to establish an aquatic territory.”
Reference: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00193544

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