Slaty Skimmer dragonflies (mating pair)

Slaty Skimmer dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

The preceding photograph shows a mating pair of Slaty Skimmer dragonflies (Libellula incesta) spotted on 15 August 2014 during a photowalk along the boardwalk in the hemi-marsh at Huntley Meadows Park. The pair is shown “in wheel”: the male is on top; the female on the bottom.

The following photo shows the female resting after copulation. Look closely at the full-size version of the photo. Females have a pair of flanges beneath their eighth abdominal segment that are used to scoop and hold a few drops of water when laying eggs (oviposition), hence the family name “Skimmer.” Remember that all dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back.

Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (female, resting after copulation)

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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