Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Damsels Doin’ It by the Dam

(With that heading it might be interesting to see my hit statistics over the next few days!)

I’m talking Damselflies of course. Dragonflies and Damselflies copulate in the ‘wheel position’ and I came across a pair of damsels just so, yesterday.

After transferring his sperm from his anal appendage to his genitalia under his second abdominal segment, the male clasps the female by the prothorax. She then bends her abdomen forward and allows her genital appendage to come in contact with his seminal vesicle, more or less completing a circle.

This act may be performed perched or for some species, while in flight. They might remain like this for some time or just a few seconds. There is a far more detailed and accurate description of this unique mating procedure on the very excellent Brisbane Insects website.

After extricating myself from the dam I saw another winged assassin species on a nearby shrub. Just like Dragonflies, Robber Flies are very beneficial insects, preying on other insects and keeping their populations in check. They catch their prey on the wing usually, inject a cocktail of toxins and enzymes to paralyze the victim and liquefy their innards. The Robber Fly then inserts its proboscis and sucks out the juices, leaving behind the empty body shell.

Aside: I wonder why Dragon and Fly are connected to make Dragonfly but Robber and Fly are separate as in Robber Fly?

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