Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

The following photos show a mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted along the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park.

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

The pair is shown “in wheel.”

The copulatory, or wheel, position is unique to the Odonata, as is the distant separation of the male’s genital opening and copulatory organs. Source Credit: Paulson, Dennis (2011-12-19). Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East (Princeton Field Guides) (Kindle Locations 377-378). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

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). Therefore, the male dragonfly is on top; the female is on the bottom.

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 in a three-part series of photoblog posts related to reproduction of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies.

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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