Great Spreadwing damselfly claspers (male)

All male damselflies have four terminal appendages, collectively called “claspers,” that are used to grab and hold female damselflies during mating: an upper pair of cerci (“superior appendages”); and a lower pair of paraprocts (“inferior appendages”).

All four claspers can be seen in some species of Broad-winged damselflies (Family Calopterygidae) such as Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata), and in some species of Spreadwing damselflies  (Family Lestidae) such as Slender Spreadwing (Lestes rectangularis), Southern Spreadwing (Lestes australis), and Sweetflag Spreadwing (Lestes forcipatus).

In contrast, most photos of male Great Spreadwing damselflies (Archilestes grandis) only show the cerci; the paraprocts look like two small nubs that are out of sight, tucked underneath the cerci. The following photo of a male Great Spreadwing, spotted at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP), provides an uncommon peek at the paraprocts from the damselfly’s dorsal side (see photo inset).

A Great Spreadwing damselfly (Archilestes grandis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, nicknamed "Bendy Straw."

11 OCT 2015 | HMP | Great Spreadwing (male, nicknamed “Bendy Straw”)

(See full-size versions of the annotated image, as well as the original photo, without annotation.)

I nicknamed this male Great Spreadwing “Bendy Straw” because of his slightly malformed abdomen.

cropped

Graphic image courtesy Mark Jette, created using Adobe Illustrator.

Remember, all male dragonflies have three terminal appendages: an upper pair of cerci (“superior appendages”) and a lower unpaired epiproct (“inferior appendage”).

The last photo provides another peek at the paraprocts from the damselfly’s dorsal side (see photo inset).

A Great Spreadwing damselfly (Archilestes grandis) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

21 OCT 2015 | HMP | Great Spreadwing (male)

(See full-size versions of the annotated image, as well as the original photo, without annotation.)

Related Resource: Odonate Terminal Appendages

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “Great Spreadwing damselfly claspers (male)”

  1. Great Spreadwing damselfly (male) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] Several Great Spreadwing damselflies (Archilestes grandis) were spotted on 15 October 2015 near a vernal pool in the forest at Huntley Meadows Park. The following individual is a male, as indicated by its coloration, hamules, and terminal appendages. […]

  2. They’re back! | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 22SEP2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Great Spreadwing (male) […]

  3. Great Spreadwing (female terminal appendages) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] the side of its thorax, bluish-white coloration on abdominal segments 9-10 (S9-10), and distinctive terminal appendages […]

  4. Great Spreadwing damselfly (male, grooming) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] Look closely at the full-size version of the following photo. Notice the schmutz on the male damselfly’s abdomen, located near the right cercus of his terminal appendages. […]

  5. Great Spreadwing damselfly (male, eating) | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] the side of its thorax, bluish-white coloration on abdominal segments 9-10 (S9-10), and distinctive terminal appendages […]

  6. Top 10 Photos of 2016 | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] 22SEP2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Great Spreadwing (male) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: