London, July 16 (IANS) Socrates might have said that too much sex might shorten your life. The damselflies do not seem to be paying any attention to his statement made 2,000 years ago as a new study finds that aging damselflies never lose their libidos.
The species are just as likely as younger competitors to mate.
“For the damselflies, it does not matter how much sex they have had in the past, they can still keep on going until they die and they do not appear to pay a price for it,” said Christopher Hassall from the University of Leeds’ School of Biology, who led on the analysis of the data.
Researchers tagged over 1,000 azure damselflies mating in a small pond in Hampshire.
They observed the intricacies of their sex lives through close focussing binoculars for two years.
Although the life of the azure damselfly is actually quite short–most insects in the study died within a week of arriving at the pond–the sex is constant.
Female damselflies generate eggs away from the ponds and streams where they mate. When they arrive, the males scramble to join with them, noted the study that appeared in the Journal of Animal Ecology.
The researchers found that females’ chances of finding mates at the pond in Hampshire were close to 100 percent every time they visited.
There were no significant differences with age–older males were as likely to be successful as their younger competitors.
“It is also clear that it does not matter how much sex individuals have had in the past; they can keep on going at the same rate until they die,” Hassall said.