Michael Weatherford  

Damselflies Mating by Michael Weatherford

September 2021 - Damselflies Mating

September 2021 - Michael Weatherford


About the Image(s)

I am going to be X-rated this month and answer the question, "How many mating damselflies can fit on a sycamore leaf". I observed this at the edge of the Cossatot River in Polk County, Arkansas. Processed in Lightroom and Luminar 4 to crop and selectively lighten and sharpen the image. Nikon Z7II, Nikkor Z 70-200mm f2.8 lens, 2X Extender. 400mm, 1/500, f/13, ISO400

5 comments posted

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
Michael what a unique capture. I had to look at this a long time and I am still not sure I know what I am looking at. I will take you word for it, "bug porn" you were there. I think it is a wonderful capture but I still find it very confusing.
  Posted: 09/06/2021 14:51:41
Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Well, damselfly mating is very complicated. A short description - During mating, the male clasps the female by her neck while she bends her body around to his reproductive organs - this is called a mating wheel. The pair flies together over the water and eggs are laid within a suitable plant, just below the surface. The eggs hatch and the larvae, called nymphs, live in the water. The female can mate with several males. The males have special "tools" that enable them to remove sperm deposited from previous male and then deposit their own. The male stays clasped to the female by her neck as she deposits the fertilized eggs, to prevent another male from coming along and replacing his sperm. The image shows the females depositing fertilized eggs on a sycamore leaf as the males stay attached to their necks. I'm going to take a break now to clear my brain.   Posted: 09/07/2021 10:21:36
Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
Wow, that is a compilated system for sure. I had no idea. I have a Master Naturalist certificate form South Carolina but they never taught that. Good stuff Michael, thanks!
  Posted: 09/09/2021 11:21:18
Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Here's a photo of damselflies actually mating. Warning: Don't try this at home.   Posted: 09/09/2021 18:17:12
Comment Image

Cindy Bilinsky   Cindy Bilinsky
What an interesting image and something many do not see. In terms of the image the Damselflies create interesting lines that lead the eye almost im a zigzag pattern throughout the image. The damselflies are separated nicely from the background. I find the ed leaf in the lower left corner and the cream stem or line in the upper left corner distracting.
  Posted: 09/11/2021 08:38:02


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