Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) is a member of the Skimmer Family of dragonflies that is commonly spotted during the fall months at many water bodies in the mid-Atlantic United States, such as the vernal pools and central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park.
The first individual is a male, as indicated by its coloration and terminal appendages. By the first week in November, fall foliage is past peak color and the ground is covered almost completely by leaf litter.
The following photo shows another male, spotted a couple of weeks earlier.
The next Autumn Meadowhawk is a female, as indicated by its coloration and terminal appendages. Female abdomens are slightly thicker than those of males and noticeably flared toward both the thorax and tip of the abdomen. The “subgenital plate,” located under the ninth abdominal segment (S9), is a large scoop-like structure used for laying eggs (exophytic oviposition).
The last individual is another female. Regular readers of my photoblog know I’m especially fond of head-tilts in which the dragonfly seems to display some of its personality.
Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.
Tags: Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly, female, head-tilt, Huntley Meadows Park, male, oviposition, Skimmer Family, subgenital plate, Sympetrum vicinum, terminal appendages, vernal pool, wildlife photography