Two sides to every story

I spotted a mating pair of Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum ambiguum) during a photowalk with Mike Powell at Huntley Meadows Park on 20 October 2014. I took a step or two toward the pair and they flew away. I followed the dragonflies to a nearby location where they stayed for quite a while.

I positioned myself so my line of sight was perpendicular to the dragonflies, with the pair back-lighted by the late-afternoon Sun; Mike took the other side. I was shooting photos with my superzoom camera and an external flash; Mike was shooting close-up photos with a DSLR and macro lens. The situation reminded me of a familiar expression: “There are two sides to every story.” The following photos tell my side of this story.

Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

The mating 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.

Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Two sides to every story”

  1. Marie Keates Says:

    Great photos. Dragonflies are always a winner with me.

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