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Blue Tailed Damselflies....mating
Comments(5) # Blue Tailed Damselflies....mating london e17

This position is apparently called "The Wheel" but the romantic in me likes to think of it as "The Heart".....OK, maybe I'll try to find one that's one more heart shaped. Those who don't want to learn something more about Damselfly sex should read no more. Male Dragonflies (incluing the Damselflies) have two sets of sexual organs. The sperm are produced down beneath the eighth abdomianl segment, practically at the end of the tail. Prior to mating the male passes a packet of sperm up to his secondary sexual organs which are beneath his second abdominal segment. From here they are introduced into the female's sexual organs (she only has one set) which lay beneath her eighth abdominal segment. Hence the somewhat weird position they have to get themselves into. The male in the photo above is the top insect and is clasping the female behind her head whilst she has bent her abdomen up and underneath her so her sexual organs at the end of her tail are in contact with his secondary sexual organs. If startled they will fly off like this too. Once her eggs have been fertilised they will usually remain coupled but only by his claspers as she then lays the eggs just beneath the surface of the water, usually on a pond weed of some description. Obviously I'll try and get a photo of this stage (or dig one out from the archive). Canon EOS 5D
150 mm
200 ISO
1/400 sec
f 6.3
Flash: Not Fired