Dragonfly 4 - Sympetrum vicinum female, back of the head

Jun 27, 2009
A female Sympetrum vicinum, showing the back of the head. All these fringes of hairs (setae) are sensory and help the dragonfly maintain a horizontal attitude of the head no matter how much the rest of the body torques in high-g turns.
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When dragonflies mate the male grasps the female's head with the terminal appendages at the end of his abdomen. In many species these appendages are shaped differently, even with closely related species. The sensory hairs on the back of the female's head help her identify whether the male attempting to mate is her own species or not. Species that have very similar shaped appendages usually have other visual cues that help differentiate.

Shot with a Nikon D810, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5x infinity microscope objective mounted on a 200mm Micro-Nikkor, [email protected]/60, ISO64, 172 shots focus stacked using a StackShot, processed with Zerene Stacker and Photoshop.

Thanks for looking.


Cafe Ambassador
Apr 8, 2008
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
I never tire of looking at these images. Such a fascinating world they reveal! I can understand how you got hooked on dragonflies - and macro - at an early age!

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