This individual is a male, as indicated by the large russet-colored club at the end of his abdomen, “indented” hindwings (see annotated image, below), and his terminal appendages.
I like the way the hint of red coloration in the fall foliage complements the male’s russet-colored club.This guy was by far the most cooperative of several Russet-tipped Clubtails spotted at the same location, as evidenced by the fact that he allowed me to shoot 119 photos in a variety of poses. Several of the better photos in the set were cherry-picked for this post; more photos may be published in a follow-up post. Male dragonflies have three terminal appendages, collectively called “claspers,” that are used to grab and hold female dragonflies during mating: an upper pair of cerci (“superior appendages”); and a lower unpaired epiproct (“inferior appendage”).
(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)
Male Russet-tipped Clubtails have a larger, more colorful club than females of the same species, and their terminal appendages are shaped differently. Compare and contrast the appearance of males and females by looking at the following “Related Resources.”
Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.
- Genus Stylurus | Stylurus plagiatus | Russet-tipped Clubtail | male | top view
- Genus Stylurus | Stylurus plagiatus | Russet-tipped Clubtail | female | top view
- Genus Stylurus | Stylurus plagiatus | Russet-tipped Clubtail | female | side view
Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.
Tags: cerci, claspers, Clubtail Family, epiproct, Gomphidae, Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge, Mulligan Pond, Russet-tipped Clubtail dragonfly, Stylurus plagiatus, terminal appendages, wildlife photography