Darter Dragonfly Andy
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Common Darter Dragonflies Copulating (Sympetrum Striolatum)

Photographed on heathland side of a pond in the New Forest a pair of attractively marked common Darter dragonflies mating. It is the male which has grasped the female on the back of the head and it’s the female which has bent her abdomen to insert her genitalia into the male’s genitalia where he has already stored sperm.

They are capable of flight in the mating position to avoid predators as these two pictured above did after crawling on my knees on the marshy ground I managed only two pictures then this pair of dragonflies flew vertically straight up very high until out of sight. It reminded me of my son's helicopter which did the same on its first flight but not with such a happy landing. This is a common dragonfly found breeding around lakes and rivers in the United Kingdom and can be seen on the wing from June until November.

31/08/2002. Fujifilm S1 pro, 105 Sigma Macro lens, 1/60 F16, Integral flash.
New Forest, Hampshire, UK.