Insex | Part 2: Pas de deux

What happens after odonates copulateAutumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) engage in a form of guarding behavior known as “contact guarding,” in which the male and female fly “in tandem” to egg-laying sites. Contact guarding is used by some species of odonates to prevent aggressive males from hijacking the female.

The following video shows several mating pairs of Autumn Meadowhawks spotted on 27 October 2014 at a vernal pool in the forest at Huntley Meadows Park. Each pair is in tandem: the male is in front; the female in back. Autumn Meadowhawk is a member of the Skimmer Family of dragonflies: the female dragonfly is laying eggs by the process of oviposition; guided by the male, she skims the water repeatedly, picking up drops of water that are used to flick fertilized eggs toward the shore.

Tech Tip: The preceding video looks better viewed in full-screen mode.

In ballet, a pas de deux (French, literally “step of two”) is a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together. Source Credit: Pas de deux, Wikipedia.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Insex | Part 2: Pas de deux”

  1. Time to mate | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] males and females; mating pairs; males guide females to egg-laying sites (some species, such as Autumn Meadowhawk) or solo females lay eggs (all other […]

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