Dragonfly behavior and morphology

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Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:07 pm
Location: Albany, Oregon

Dragonfly behavior and morphology

Post by svalley »

I was lucky enough to get one shot of this behavior. It only lasted about 2 seconds. I was on the north side of the Columbia River across from Portland trying to get shots of this dragonfly species when this male flew up and landed right in front of me. Just as I got focused he performed sperm transfer and flew off. Most species do this while on the wing, so I was very pleased to capture it. The structural morphology of this secondary or accessory genitalia is unique to each species. It functions to transfer and store the sperm packets and then to transfer the packets to the female during copulation.


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A close view of the accessory genitalia (hamules) of another species Leucorrhinia glacialis. The large structure shaped like an open beak is is one half of a pair.


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Steve Valley - Albany, Oregon

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

:shock: :shock: Tis enough to make one swear to celibacy. Maybe we should have a scary photos forum? :-k A set of cool shots just the same Steve. 8)

Erland R.N.
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Location: Kolding, Denmark

Post by Erland R.N. »

That detail picture is amazing, very detailed.

I have never photographed a lonely male doing sperm transfer, and mostly see it during flight too.
But most often I see it while a couple is in tandem. If you see a darner (Aeshna) species, where the male has just grabbed a female, there is a good chance to see the male do the transfer when flying off with the female just hanging by her head. It only last a second or two though. Afterwards they will form the mating wheel.

I have though photographed it once for a damselfly and a dragonfly, but with the female in tandem.


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Post by beetleman »

To tell you the truth, I did not even know they did that :shock: Both pictures are amazing Steve.
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:12 pm
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Post by Ken Ramos »

I read somewhere, a long time ago, and it may not be factual, I know little about bugs. But, anyway, the article said that dragonflies can attain speeds of upto 45 mph and can make a 90 degree turn while at top speed. Well, so can an Aegis crusier, I have seen that so I know that its fact. Boy can those things haul and that ain't no little ship either! However, I cannot run down to the end of the driveway, do a 180 and run back without having a bowl of Wheaties and a nap afterwards. :D

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