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Monday, March 08, 2010

Vivid Dancer Damselfly With Passengers

This image was in a recent presentation I did, and a member of the audience commented that it must be female because of the "eggs" near the end of the tail. In truth, these are not eggs. I did not notice them when I was taking the photo, but the camera makes it cleanly visible.

vivid dancer damselfly (Argia vivida)
vivid dancer damselfly (Argia vivida)

Take a closer look

damselfly mite parasites
parasitic mites on the tail of a damselfly

They are mites, not eggs.

Every living creature seems to have to contend with one kind of parasite or another. Some are internal, and some are external. In this case the mites are probably tapping into the blood between segments in the exoskeleton.

I have seen damselflies covered from head to tail in mites, so by comparison this is a light load.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
Husband, Father, Student Of Natural History, Photographer