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.
Mating Pair No. 1
Another view of the same mating pair…
Mating Pair No. 3
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!
Related Resource: Posts tagged “grooming” (see videos).
Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.