A Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) spotted along the boardwalk that goes through the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual is a male, as indicated by its blue coloration and the terminal appendages at the end of its abdomen. Look closely and you will see some of the ommatidia, that is, the facets in the dragonfly’s compound eyes!
Some dragonflies, such as the Blue Dasher, regulate their body temperature by perching in the “obelisk position”: the tip of the dragonfly’s abdomen is pointed toward the Sun, minimizing the surface area of the body exposed to direct heating by the Sun’s rays, thereby avoiding overheating. A dragonfly perched in the obelisk position casts a very small shadow, as shown in Photo 2 in the preceding gallery.
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