Nymphal Exoskeleton of a Agriocnemis femina oryzae (to be confirmed)

I found this nymphal exoskeleton at thesame spot where the immature Agriocnemis femina oryzae are resting and the spot where I saw 2 pairs mating. Unable to confirm whether this exoskeleton belong to Agriocnemis femina oryzae, I assumed it belongs to them as these small and weak damselflies do not fly far from the water edge.

Date and Place found : 27 October 2006 Morning  Kampong Morotai, Sabah, Malaysia.


This species of Agriocnemis femina is  known smallest damselfly in southeast Asian.

This damselfly has a wingspan of only 20mm.

The largest species of damselfly, in the genus Mecistogaster, has a wingspan of 200 mm. ("Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)", 2003; Silsby, 2001)


There are three stages in the damselfly lifecycle:

1 - Egg

2 - Larva (also called nymph)

3 - Adult

Eggs are laid in water and usually hatch after one to three weeks. The length of this period varies between and within species.

Larval damselfly, also called a nymph, lives in water as an aquatic predator. As nymphs, damselflies live for two months to three years , undergoing 5 to 15 molts as they grow. The length of the nymphal stage varies between species and within species, and depends on temperature, food supply and photoperiodic regime. During the last larval instars, the nymph begins to develop some of the features that will prepare it for life as an adult, such as expanded eyes, flight muscles and wings. ("Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies)", 2003; Westfall and May, 1996)

Adult : When a damselfly nymph is nearly adult size, it crawls out of the water onto a plant stem, and the new adult emerges from the nymphal exoskeleton. The new adult then flies away from the water, and remains away for two or more weeks. During this time, the damselfly eats voraciously (they emerge from the water with very little stored energy) while the exoskeleton hardens and develops the characteristic color and pattern of the mature adult. Once the adult is fully mature, it returns to an area near water to breed. In many species, this is the likely to be the same habitat where the nymph emerged from the water. Other species range more widely, and young adults may disperse to new breeding sites. (Borror, Triplehorn, and Johnson, 1989; Corbet, 1999; Silsby, 2001; Westfall and May, 1996)


INDEX : Dragonfly     September 30, 2016 11:42:53 PM