I- I. elegans â â were seen in unusual associations with conspecific 5 9. In a triple connection a 3 was in tandem with a 9 that had genital contact with another 3. Another association involved a copula in which the 9 was still in the wheel position, but the 3 had ceased to hold the 9 at her collutti for more than half an hour. Several mixed tandems of 3 /. elegans with 9 Lestes sponsa were observed in natural and experimental conditions; also one brief 6-6 conspecific tandem. The reduced discrimination by males which leads to these associations may be adaptive to low density populations.This may invalidate the sexual cannibalism hypothesis of C. UTZERI (1980, Nolul. odonatol. I: 100-102). It is suggested that sex-biased cannibalism within the genus Ischnura is mainly the result of a combination of a female's higher energy demand combined with a high level of female aggression.