Live fast, die old: no evidence of reproductive senescence or costs of mating in a damselfly (Odonata: Zygoptera)

  • Christopher Hassall, Thomas N. Sherratt, Phillip C. Watts, David J. Thompson
  • Journal of Animal Ecology, July 2015, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12407


Dr Christopher Hassall
University of Leeds

The link between too much sex and a shortening of life was made as far back as Aristotle, who suggested that such an expenditure of energy could be costly in the long term. This "cost of sex" has been verified in a number of species, often as a result of damage during mating. We were also interested in whether or not there was a decline in breeding activity in older animals as well, as ageing has been proposed as a universal process affecting all of life. However, in wild insects it has been proposed that the animals simply don't live long enough to experience ageing.

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