Autumn Meadowhawks (mating pairs)

The following photos, showing several mating pairs of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum), were taken near a vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). All pairs are shown in the “mating wheel.”

It’s fairly simple and straightforward to identify the male- and female members of a mating pair of dragonflies. All dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back: male dragonfly secondary genitalia, called hamules, are located in segments two and three (S2 and S3); female genitalia in segment eight (S8). Dragonflies form the mating wheel in order for their genitalia to connect during copulation.

Mating Pair No. 2

Don’t be confused — the first photo is actually the second mating pair spotted on 15 October 2015.

A mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is shown in wheel.

15 OCT 2015 | HMP | Autumn Meadowhawks (mating pair, in wheel)

Mating Pair No. 1

A mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is shown in wheel.

15 OCT 2015 | HMP | Autumn Meadowhawks (mating pair, in wheel)

Another view of the same mating pair…

A mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is shown in wheel.

15 OCT 2015 | HMP | Autumn Meadowhawks (mating pair, in wheel)

Mating Pair No. 3

A mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is shown in wheel.

21 OCT 2015 | HMP | Autumn Meadowhawks (mating pair, in wheel)

The last photo should be captioned: “Mating makes me itch!” Actually, the male dragonfly is using its legs to groom his eyes and face, while mating. Hey, you want to look good when hooking up!

A mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is shown in wheel.

21 OCT 2015 | HMP | Autumn Meadowhawks (mating pair, in wheel)

Related Resource: Posts tagged “grooming” (see videos).

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Autumn Meadowhawks (mating pairs)”

  1. Dave Young Says:

    Walter, Sorry for the late response and thanks for more Autumn Meadowhawk info. The Sunrise Valley Wetlands is probably the best concentrated Dragonfly site in Reston. http://wetlandstudies.com/projects/sunrise-valley.html

    There is also another relatively new mitigation area along Sunrise Valley, but it is in Herndon, Arrowbrook Park. The north side of park is all recreational but the south side is a wetlands set aside. Arrowbrook is a FCPA facility and Sunrise Valley wetlands is maintained by Reston Association. They are about a mile apart and both are just west of Fairfax County Parkway.

    Dave

  2. Urban Heat Island | walter sanford's photoblog Says:

    […] Autumn Meadowhawks (mating pairs) [see “Mating Pair No. 3”] […]

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