What am I

I am a dragonfly or I am a damselfly

Click on the image you think that looks like to get more information

100 840 Trithemis arteriosa Red vained Dropwing Komatipoort Sept 2016r 1Dragonfly

100 2346 Phyllomacromia contumax Two banded Cruiser Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 15

102 008 Male Klein Kariba 2016 09 26Damselfly

100 158 Africallagma fractum Slender Bluet Male Haenertsburg LP RSA Dec 2015r 2

What is the differences between a dragonfly and a damselfly

 

Click Here to find out what is a dragonfly or a damselfly

Am I a Male or Female

Dragonfly or damselfly male or females have different claspers and the males have mostly visible secondary genitalia

 

Dragonfly

 

 

 

100 2294 Trithemis furva Navy Dropwing Young Male Close up MP RSA Sep 2018r 17Secondary Genetalia
1 10178 Pseudagrion salisbryense Slate Sprite Male Close up SaBI MP RSA11 12 2022r 5
1 10183 Pseudagrion salisbryense Slate Sprite Male Close up SaBI MP RSA11 12 2022r 17

 Male Claspers or appendages

Dragonflies

Upper claspers called cercus (two) Lowe claspers called paraproct (one)

Damselflies

Upper claspers called cercus (two) Lowe claspers called epiproct (Two)

 
 
 
 

How Dragonfly Males Find Receptive Females

Dragonfly sex is a rough-and-tumble affair. If you've ever seen a pair of mating dragonflies in the act, you know that their sexual coupling requires the flexibility and acrobatic skill of a "Cirque de Soleil" performer. Females get bitten, males get scratched, and sperm winds up everywhere. These strange mating habits have survived millions of years of evolution, so the dragonflies must know what they're doing, right

Courtship

Dragonflies don't engage in elaborate courtship rituals. In a few dragonfly families, the male might display his colors or fly over his territory to show a potential mate what a good oviposition site he's chosen for their offspring, but that's about it.
Since dragonflies have extraordinarily good vision, the males rely mostly on their eyesight to find appropriate female partners. A typical pond or lake habitat will support many species of dragonflies and damselflies. To succeed in passing on his DNA, a male dragonfly must be able to distinguish females of his own species from all the other Odonates flying around. He can recognize a conspecific female by observing her flight style, her colors and patterns, and her

Mating

Male dragonflies make the first move to initiate sex. When a male spots a female of his own species, he must first subdue her. He'll approach her from behind, usually while they are both in flight, and hold onto her thorax with his legs. He might bite her, too. If he hopes to mate successfully, he must get a firm grip on her quickly. He pulls his abdomen forward and uses his anal appendages, a pair of cerci, to clasp her by the neck (her prothorax). After he has her tightly by the neck, he extends his body and continues to fly with her, in tandem. This position is known as tandem linkage.
Now that he's got a hold of a mate, the male dragonfly prepares for sex. Dragonflies have secondary sex organs, meaning they don't store sperm near the copulatory organ. He must transfer some sperm from a gonopore, on his ninth abdominal segment, to his penis, which is located under his second abdominal segment. After he's charged his seminal vesicle with sperm, he's ready to go.
Now for the acrobatics. Somewhat inconveniently, the female's genital opening is near her thorax, while the male's penis is closer to the tip of his abdominal segments (on the underside of his second segment). She has to bend her abdomen forward, sometimes with coaxing from the male, to bring her genitalia into contact with his penis. This position during copulation is known as a wheel formation because the couple forms a closed circle with their joined bodies; it is unique to the order Odonata. In dragonflies, the sex organs lock together briefly (not so for damselflies). Some dragonflies will mate in flight, while others will retire to a nearby perch to consummate their relationship.

 

How Dragonfly Males Find Receptive Females

Dragonflies don't engage in elaborate courtship rituals. In a few dragonfly families, the male might display his colors or fly over his territory to show a potential mate what a good oviposition site he's chosen for their offspring, but that's about it.
Since dragonflies have extraordinarily good vision, the males rely mostly on their eyesight to find appropriate female partners. A typical pond or lake habitat will support many species of dragonflies and damselflies. To succeed in passing on his DNA, a male dragonfly must be able to distinguish females of his own species from all the other Odonates flying around. He can recognize a conspecific female by observing her flight style, her colors and patterns, and her size.

How Dragonflies Mate (and the Wheel Formation)

As with many insects, male dragonflies make the first move to initiate sex. When a male spots a female of his own species, he must first subdue her. He'll approach her from behind, usually while they are both in flight, and hold onto her thorax with his legs. He might bite her, too. If he hopes to mate successfully, he must get a firm grip on her quickly. He pulls his abdomen forward and uses his anal appendages, a pair of cerci, to clasp her by the neck (her prothorax). After he has her tightly by the neck, he extends his body and continues to fly with her, in tandem. This position is known as tandem linkage.
Now that he's got a hold of a mate, the male dragonfly prepares for sex. Dragonflies have secondary sex organs, meaning they don't store sperm near the copulatory organ. He must transfer some sperm from a gonopore, on his ninth abdominal segment, to his penis, which is located under his second abdominal segment. After he's charged his seminal vesicle with sperm, he's ready to go.
Now for the acrobatics. Somewhat inconveniently, the female's genital opening is near her thorax, while the male's penis is closer to the tip of his abdominal segments (on the underside of his second segment). She has to bend her abdomen forward, sometimes with coaxing from the male, to bring her genitalia into contact with his penis. This position during copulation is known as a wheel formation because the couple forms a closed circle with their joined bodies; it is unique to the order Odonata. In dragonflies, the sex organs lock together briefly (not so for damselflies). Some dragonflies will mate in flight, while others will retire to a nearby perch to consummate their relationship.

Competition Among Male Dragonflies

Our journey starts HERE

We start our journey to find a dragonfly or damselfly species by using images basses on colour shapes and outstanding markings

A click on the image will take you image assisted help page

Dragonflies

100 3480 Anax imperator Blue emperor Whiteriver MP RSA Aug 2018r

100 2420 Phyllomacromia picta Darting Cruiser Male Songimvelo Nature Reserve MP RSA Febr 2019r 2

100 2617 Aethriamanta rezia Pygmy Basker Male Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 1

100 1175 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Mystic Monkeys Jan 2017r 6

 Damselflies

100 000 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male Marlothpark MP RSA Apr 2017r 4

100 376 Africallagma glaucum Swamp Bluet Male Magaliesburg NWP RSA Mch 2017r 3

100 052 Platycypha calgata Dancing Jewel Mooinooi NWP RSA MCH 2015r 5

100 598 Masai Sprite Pseudagrion massaicum Brits NWP RSA Dec 2015r 1

Enjoy the journey

 

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