Swamp Darner dragonfly (female, oviposition)

The following annotated photograph illustrates some of the external reproductive anatomy of an adult female Swamp Darner dragonfly (Epiaeschna heros), shown laying eggs (ovipostion) in mud: a pair of cerci (superior appendages) that have little or no function; a stylus (pl. styli), one of two structures that serve as sensors in egg positioning; and an ovipositor that is used to insert eggs into wet dead wood, mud, etc.

Swamp Darner dragonfly (female, oviposition)

The preceding photograph was taken on 02 June 2014 in a drainage ditch located near a vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park. The photograph was voted one of my Top 10 Photos of 2014 in the first annual Peopoll’s Choice Awards.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Benjamin A. Coulter, member of the Northeast Odonata Facegroup, for kindly identifying the stylus (pl. styli) located between the cerci and ovipositor.

Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Epiaeschna | Epiaeschna heros | Swamp Darner | female | top view
  • Genus Epiaeschna | Epiaeschna heros | Swamp Darner | female | side view

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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