Thermoregulation

They’re back! Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum ambiguum), that is. Their recent reappearance is a sure sign that fall has arrived, summer-like warmth to the contrary.

This individual is a male, as indicated by its coloration and terminal appendages.

A Blue-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum ambiguum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

06 SEP 2015 | HMP | Blue-faced Meadowhawk (male)

Some dragonflies, such as the Blue-faced Meadowhawk shown in the preceding photo, regulate their body temperature by perching in the “obelisk position”: the tip of the dragonfly’s abdomen is pointed toward the Sun, minimizing the surface area of the body exposed to direct heating by the Sun’s rays, thereby avoiding overheating.

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Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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