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.
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.