Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mating Meadowhawks

For about a year and a half I have been trying to get a photograph of dragonflies mating.  This past week as I was on a short walk at the Fox Island Nature Center Wetlands a mating pair of Blue Faced Meadowhawks (Sympetrum ambiguum) landed only five feet away.
 In this "wheel position" the male (red abdomen) grasps the female just behind the head and the female curls her abdomen to bring it in contact with the male so sperm can be transferred to the female.  The tattered wings of this female shows she has had an active summer
This pair of Meadowhawks are in the "Guarding Position" as the male grasps the female just behind the head and they fly in tandem as the female lays eggs across the top of the water. In this position the male is guarding against the female being inseminated by another male.  Male dragonflies have the ability to remove the sperm of a previous mating from a female before depositing their own.
Photos by J. Ormiston