Swamp Darner dragonfly (female, oviposition)

The following annotated photograph illustrates some of the 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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