Black Saddlebags dragonfly (male, excreting)

A Black Saddlebags dragonfly (Tramea lacerata) spotted near the shore of Accotink Bay. Male dragonflies have three terminal appendages, called “claspers,” including a pair of upper appendages called “cerci” and one lower appendage called an “epiproct.” The male dragonfly’s claspers are used to grab and hold female dragonflies during mating. Notice this dragonfly has a mysterious fourth appendage, and it appears to be growing!

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I have photographed dragonflies perching, flying, mating, eating, and now (drum roll, please) … excreting! My photo catalog of dragonfly behaviors is finally complete.

Habitat: Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge, a 1,200 acre preserve located at Army Garrison Fort Belvoir, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

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