Hi! I’m in Florida and I have 3 pictures I have questions about. One is of a large dragonfly with something near the end of its tail. What is it?… And last, but not least…..I think you know what I’m going to ask :0) Thanks!
Your big dragonfly is a Twelve-Spot Skimmer, Libellula pulchella, but the object on its abdomen is not clear enough to identify. Dragonflies are often plagued by mites, but this looks a little large for that. Sometimes Psuedoscorpions hitch rides on flying insects, a phenomenon known as phoresy. Sadly, we just can’t be sure. You want to know how Damselflies Do It. The male grasps the female around the neck with pincers he possesses on the tip of his abdomen. She then twists around with her abdomen to accept the sperm. Many species of Damselflies stay in this position while the eggs are laid, with the female depositing the eggs underwater. I’m sure the extra pairs of wings help to lift her back into the air after an egg has been laid. This is such a wonderful addition to our brand new Bug Love page.
Correction: Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 3:11 AM
If I may, the first pics shows a female of Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps) and the things at the end of the abdmen are eggs. It is a distinctive behavior of the genus Epitheca, the female expluse eggs, with the abdomen croooked, that accumulate outside the abdomen. When there is enough eggs the female take flight and tip the mass of eggs into the water.
The second pic show what are Orange Bluets (Enallagma signatum), in this case the little things on the abdomen are indeed Acarian bugs.