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Some kind of damselfly maybe? - Enallagma exsulans

Some kind of damselfly maybe? - Enallagma exsulans
Clinton, IL, De Witt County, Illinois, USA
August 2, 2010

Moved from Damselflies.

Moved from ID Request.

Stream Bluet
I've looked in "Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West," Paulson, which may of course be missing some eastern species, and in "Damselflies of the Northeast," Lam. Unless there's a species not covered in either of these books, in my judgment, this is a Stream Bluet because:

- abdomen completely black on top, except Segment 9 (S9) which is blue
- spots on back of head are connected

***** should have scrolled down -- someone else had already said Stream Bluet

Complicated reproduction in the Odonates
Creatures have developed many different ways of insuring that they are mating with a member of their own species, color signals, fancy dances, etc. The odonates use a lock and key mechanism with claspers on the end of the male abdomen locking down on a matching shape behind the female head. Because of this the male genitalia are not available for sperm transfer during this tandeming. Consequently the males have secondary genitalia under the front of their abdomen where they first deposit a sperm packet. Then when the pair have linked the female reaches forward and picks up this sperm packet. The male meanwhile reaches in and makes sure that any previous sperm packets picked up by the female are removed. It is quite an elaborate process! If you are interested in more about damselflies and dragonflies there is an excellent book by Corbet here(1)

Can't be certain of the dorsal pattern on the male abdomen,
but we think we see that the top of segment 8 is black. That would point toward Enallagma exsulans. Check there and see if you think that is what you have found.

Thank you so much! I googled
Thank you so much! I googled it and it definitely looks like that! Thanks :) But I have another question..the male is obviously the blue one and the female the brown one..why does the male have it's back end connected to right behind the female's head? And why does the female have her back end connected to the bottom of the male (forming that heart)?