The theme of the “sampler series” is simple. Male dragonfly claspers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but their function is identical for all species of dragonflies: male dragonflies use their claspers to grab and hold female dragonflies during mating.
There are seven families of dragonflies. Part 2 (of 2) features a sampler of select images showing male dragonfly claspers from the Emerald Family, Skimmer Family, and Spiketail Family. The author never has been fortunate to photograph either species of the Petaltail Family.
The next image shows a Bar-winged Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula axilena) spotted near a vernal pool in the forest at Huntley Meadows Park. Many members of the Skimmer Family have terminal appendages that look similar to the Bar-winged Skimmer, such as Painted Skimmer, Eastern Pondhawk, and Blue-faced Meadowhawk, to name a few species.
The following image shows a battle-scarred Black Saddlebags dragonfly (Tramea lacerata) spotted alongside the boardwalk in the central wetland area hemi-marsh at Huntley Meadows Park. Black Saddlebags’ terminal appendages are unlike most members of the Skimmer Family.
- Dragonfly terminal appendages (male, female) [Painted Skimmer]
- More dragonfly terminal appendages [Blue-faced Meadowhawk]
- A sampler of male dragonfly claspers (Part 1)
- Odonate Terminal Appendages
Editor’s Notes: Part 1 (of 2) features a sampler of select images showing male dragonfly dragonfly claspers from the Clubtail Family, Cruiser Family, and Darner Family. The author has never been fortunate to photograph either species of the Petaltail Family.
Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.
Tags: Arrowhead Spiketail dragonfly, Bar-winged Skimmer dragonfly, Black Saddlebags dragonfly, cerci, claspers, Cordulegaster obliqua, Emerald Family, epiproct, Epitheca costalis, Libellula axilena, male, Skimmer Family, Slender Baskettail dragonfly, Spiketail Family, terminal appendages, Tramea lacerata, wildlife photography