Above right: A pair of Sympetrum corruptum in tandem flight. The female is ovipositing by tapping her abdomen onto the water surface.
These pictures show a tandem pair of Sympetrum corruptum that was ovipositing in a roadside ditch at Quivira NWR in Stafford County, Kansas in October, 2001. Although not as clear as the photos of Libellula conposita in tandem flight, these are of interest because they show a different type of tandem, and a different mode of oviposition. Note that here the female is not grasping the male abdomen with her legs. In the photo at left they are in tandem flight, in the photo above right, the female is ovipositing. I did not notice any evidence that she was flicking any water droplets from the surface as was the case in L. composita.
The next picture (right) shows a remarkable aerobatic maneuver in which the male is swooping down towards the water surface and apparently dragging the female behind him. I did not notice what inspired this dramatic move, but there were other males flying about, and the pair may have been trying to avoid one of them. It appears to me that the female's wings are not flapping in such a way as to assist the male in his flight direction, almost as if she might have been taken by surprise by his sudden move.
All photos by Roy J. Beckemeyer using a 200 mm Nikon Macro lens with flash attachment.