Damselfly penis

Odonate males use their shovel- or brush-like penises to remove other males’ sperm from a female’s reproductive tract during mating.  Enallagma penes lack the spines, hairs, and elaborate shapes seen in many other damselfly groups.

Damselfly eye and antenna

Odonates have tiny, inconspicuous antenna and are not thought to have a strong sense of smell.  Their eyes, on the other hand, are huge, providing close to 360 degree vision.  Their numerous ommatidia allow them to track and capture flying prey and evade entomolgists’ nets.

Damselfly toes

I am fascinated by insect tarsi. These damselfly tarsi look quite menacing at 458x magnification.

Landscapes on a damselfly

While using scanning electron microscopy to image female sensory structures, I was intrigued by the different textures on the damselfly cuticle that this type of microscope allows us to see.  Here are a few of my favorite images.