Male preparing for mating

Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (male)

The preceding photo shows a male Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum ambiguum) spotted along the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park. You may be wondering, “What’s up with the male’s gymnastic position?” Turns out this male dragonfly is preparing for mating with a nearby female.

In dragonflies, males of most, possibly all, species transfer sperm [from the genital opening under the ninth abdominal segment (S9)] to their second segment [S2] before hooking up with a female. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 370-371). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

Remember that all dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back.

Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 in a two-part series of photoblog posts related to reproduction of Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonflies. Next post: “Hooking up with a female.”

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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