Hetaerina americana

Photograph by Mark Sturtevant.

Photography contest, Runner-up.

Mr. Sturtevant’s splendid picture of 2 damselflies dining is the runner-up in the photography contest, with 12 votes. He will be awarded an autographed copy of Why Evolution Works (and Creationism Fails) by Matt Young and Paul Strode (Mr. Rice declined that book and was awarded another). Honorable Mentions will be displayed without comment every 2 weeks.

Hetaerina americana – American rubyspot damselflies. The photographer writes, "These lay their eggs in rivers and streams, and like other damselflies and the related dragonflies, their immature stage is spent in water. Here, a female is eating another damselfly that had just emerged from the water as an adult. It is easy to forget that these delicate and beautiful insects are dedicated predators. A male rubyspot stands guard in the background in this scene. Males defend these sorts of territories against rival males by using their bright red colors as an aggressive display. Females generally mate with males that ‘own’ a desirable territory. The river in the background is the Flint river, and this picture was taken near Flint Michigan. Although the situation with Flint and its river has considerable notoriety these days, it should be said that the river itself is teeming with life."