Dragonfly sex involves one very unusual step: before mating, the male must transfer sperm from his sperm-producing genitals (located in segment 9, at the tip of his abdomen) to the accesory genitals located on segments 2 and 3, underneath his abdomen. These include a sperm resrvoir and a penis. Male dragonflies accomplish this transfer solo, before they attempt to copulate. This type of sperm transfer is unique to the Odonates among insects.
The female has her genitals (also located in segment 9 at the tip of her abdomen) clasped against the male's penis and sperm reservoir. The male holds the female behind the head with his claspers, and she holds onto his abdomen with her legs. This position is called a mating wheel. It is just increddible that they are able to fly while united thus, albeit slowly and clumsily, with the male towing the female.
Image: Kalmthout (BE) - 07/07/2010
© Johan Dierckx
The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.
All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.
(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)
Please feel free to visit my personal website http://www.diversitasnaturae.be/