Diptychs of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies

The following gallery features photos of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted during a during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park on 02 December 2011. It was astounding to see dragonflies so late in the year — completely unexpected! Male Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies have red eyes and a red face, a brown thorax, a red abdomen, and red pterostigma near all four wingtips. Its body is approximately one-and-a-half to two inches (1.5 – 2″) in length.

These composite images, known as a diptychs, were created using Aperture and Diptic  app for Apple iOS mobile devices.

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Panels three and four (shown above, lower-left and lower-right) show a mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies. 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 dragonflies shown in Panels 3-4 are “in wheel,” in which the male (red abdomen) uses claspers at the end of his abdomen to hold the female by her thorax while they are joined at their abdomens. All dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen: male dragonfly secondary genitalia are located in segments two and three (2 and 3); female genitalia in segment eight (8).

Photos © Copyright 2011 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

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