Permission to use image provided by Anax junius possess only one set of reproductive organs, either female or male genitalia. Before mating, the male Anax junius must transfer his sperm from the tip of his abdomen, "true genitalia," to the location below his abdomen known as his "secondary genitalia" (Roach 2001). A male is then ready to mate and does so by attaching himself to a female. The male flies next to a female and grabs her behind the head with his genital claspers, which is located at the tip of the dragonflies abdomen. The male holds the female in this manner so the female is unable to escape. The female then positions herself in a way that allows the tip of her abdomen to be placed against the males penis and sperm reservoir (Berger and Hansen 2004). The male inserts his penis into the females vagina in order to either remove sperm of a previous mate or to deposit their own sperm for fertilization to occur (Roach 2001).

Permission to use image provided by fertilization has occurred, the male will stay attached to the female until the eggs have been deposited on aquatic vegetation. The male will stay attached to the female possibly the whole day to ensure that his sperm is not removed and replaced by a new mate (Roach 2001). Females search for a place to deposit their eggs; usually on wood or into aquatic vegetation. Females use their ovipositors (an organ that aids in laying eggs) to deposit the eggs into aquatic vegetation (Marshall 2006). The females deposit a large amount of offspring to ensure that some will fully mature into adult dragonflies. The female or the male do not nurture their offspring after depositing the eggs. The female deposits her eggs late spring to early summer time. The offspring hatch roughly 3 weeks later, which either mature right away (usually occurs in warm water and when nutrients are plenty) or mature within 4 years (usually occurs in cold water and when nutrients are scarce) (Marshall 2006). Offspring usually hatch around August and September which afterwards, they fly south for the winter. They return in spring to lay eggs in ponds for the generation to come (Marshall 2006).

For more information about the mating habits and life history of Anax junius, visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.

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