Violet Dancer damselflies "in tandem"

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A mating pair of Violet Dancer damselflies (Argia fumipennis violacea) spotted during a photowalk through “Paul Spring Park,” one of seven small parks owned and maintained by the Community Association of Hollin Hills, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.  Formerly known as “Variable Dancer,” the Violet Dancer is classified as one of three subspecies of Variable Dancer damselflies.

Odonata, an order of insects including dragonflies and damselflies, reproduce in three stages: in tandem; in wheel (sometimes called “in heart” for damselflies); and oviposition. The damselflies shown in the preceding photo gallery are “in tandem,” in which the male uses claspers at the end of its abdomen to hold the female by its thorax. Therefore, the male damselfly is on the upper-right in the preceding photos; the female on the lower-left. See “Violet Dancer damselfly” (one of my recent Posterous posts) for more photos of a male Violet Dancer.

Photo 1 of 3 is a copy of the original photograph, cropped to highlight the damselflies; Photo 2 of 3 is the original photograph. Photo 1 was cropped and adjusted using AppleAperture.

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