Wednesday, June 9, 2010
What I found would certainly be worthy of any soap opera, if these were humans and not insects! The two that I saw may have been courting -- the male chooses a female and attaches himself to her using special apparatus on his abdomen and her thorax. If she's interested she'll raise her abdomen to collect sperm that he's placed in his second abdominal segment. Females mate repeatedly but the male is capable of removing sperm from a previous donor. The last donor's sperm is the sperm which will be used for fertilization. Which leads to the second possible scenario regarding the two damselflies I sketched. Some males will remain attached to the female after mating to ensure that no other males have the chance to remove the sperm that they've contributed.
I drew the male in the upper left when the pair had changed position on the stalk. The pair moved again before I could draw the female.
For more about damselflies and dragonflies visit these sites:
The University of Texas Arlington
New World Encyclopedia