Wheel of life

The wheel of life goes round and round…

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

The preceding photograph shows a mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted on 27 October 2014 near a vernal pool in the forest at Huntley Meadows Park. 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.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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