The Backstory: A cohort of emergent/teneral Slender Spreadwing damselflies (Lestes rectangularis) was discovered during late-May and early-June 2016 at a vernal pool located in Huntley Meadows Park (HMP). I have seen/photographed many female Slender Spreadwings in the past, but only one male. For the next few weeks, I focused upon finding and photographing mostly males from the cohort.
All dragonflies and damselflies have a 10-segmented abdomen, numbered from front to back: male damselfly secondary genitalia, called hamules, are located in segments two and three (S2 and S3); female genitalia in segment eight (S8). Damselflies form the mating wheel (also known as the mating heart) in order for their genitalia to connect during copulation.
Therefore, the male is on upper-left; the female is on the lower-right.
The next photo shows the mating pair “in tandem,” immediately after copulation. Editor’s Note: Male (soft focus); female (sharp focus).
The last photo shows the mating pair, separated after being “in tandem.” The pair decoupled soon after the heart was broken. Editor’s Note: Male (sharp focus); female (soft focus).
Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 in a five-part series of blog posts documenting a cohort of Slender Spreadwing damselflies that emerged from a single vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park, presented in reverse-chronological order from mature, reproducing adults to emergent tenerals.
- Part 2: Slender Spreadwing (adult male)
- Part 3: More adult male Slender Spreadwings
- Part 4: Young male Slender Spreadwings
- Part 5: Teneral male Slender Spreadwings
Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.