Among hundreds of dragonflies spotted during the past few years, some were obviously malformed.
Some [odonates] don’t emerge properly and end up with damaged wings or bent abdomens. I have seen adults with slightly bent abdomens competing and mating normally, but if the wings don’t develop normally, those genes are probably leaving the gene pool. Source Credit: Beaton, Giff (2007-03-15). Dragonflies and Damselflies of Georgia and the Southeast. University of Georgia Press.
The following retrospective is presented in reverse chronological order.
A male Common Green Darner dragonfly (Anax junius) was spotted at Huntley Meadows Park on 28 April 2015. This individual has a malformed wing: one of its two hind wings didn’t expand to full-size during emergence.
A male Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum ambiguum) was spotted at Huntley Meadows Park on 20 October 2014. This individual has a slight bend in its abdomen between S5 and S6. Remember that “S5 and S6″ refers to abdominal Segments 5 and 6 (of 10), numbered from front to back.
The following gallery shows a female Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum ambiguum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park on 17 September 2013. This individual is an andromorph that has a slightly malformed abdomen.
A female Spangled Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula cyanea) was spotted on 04 June 2012 in a large meadow far from the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. This dragonfly, shown below, has a slightly malformed abdomen.
The following immature male Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans) was spotted at Huntley Meadows Park on 17 May 2012. This individual has a slightly malformed wing. He was very skittish and flew away after just a couple of photos, so I’m guessing it went on to live a normal life as an adult.
Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.
Tags: andromorph, Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly, Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly, female, Huntley Meadows Park, Libellula cyanea, Libellula incesta, male, malformed, pterostigma, Slaty Skimmer dragonfly, Spangled Skimmer dragonfly, Sympetrum ambiguum, Sympetrum vicinum, wildlife photography