This may be an andromorph. I wouldn't know for sure... I'm not that well up on the genitalia of damselflies.
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But is it an andromorph? (A word I'd never come across until today!)
Hi Simon, you'll have to elaborate on what you are after here, what's an andromorph ?
Chris Brooks - www.dragonfly-images.co.uk
My Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ceb1298
I came across it in the entry for Blue Tailed Damselfly in Brooks and Lewington. I had no idea what it meant, so I looked it up, and found this:
I have scanned the document and I have heard of it but not the term "andromorph". Looking at it you may well be right. It is a female but not as obviously so as other specimens. Roy W might be able to comment more. Regards Chris
Yes, this is an andromorph (a mature female with colours that resemble those of the mature male).
What's going on then? Is there some survival or breeding advantage, or is it just one of those things, an evolutionary line that's likely to go nowhere?
And do they occur very frequently, and in other species of damsel or dragonfly?
Am I asking too many questions?
Quite a few different species of dragonfly and damselfly have polymorphic females, and in many of these species the form which most closely resembles the males is considered to be an "andromorph" (I'm not aware of any species that have more than a single mature male colour form). In some species females that are treated as andromorphs are not typical, but can occur occasionally (a good example here: http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/250118 ).
The reasons for the existence of different colour morphs, and whether or not they have selective advantages is not properly understood - but if you are interested there are quite a few papers detailing studies that can be found with an online search.
I'll have a look around. Most intriguing.
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