Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday at Zilker Park

Here is a miscellany of photos I took in Zilker today, first below Barton Springs, and then in Zilker Gardens.

These gadwalls and the snowy egret were sharing a rock in the middle of Barton Creek below the dam.

Another pair of gadwalls resting on a flat rock by the bank.

Fox squirrel by the creek

Here are two desert firetails (Telebasis salva) on a lily pad in Zilker Gardens. They have just mated, and the female is now in the process of laying eggs. The male is still attached to her head. Odonate sex, like all sex, looks strange. The male attaches behind the female's head, then the female reaches up with the end of her abdomen to fertilize her eggs at the male genitalia. Then she can lay the eggs, which is what's going on here. With some odonates, like these desert firetails, the male remains attached to the female's head while the egg-laying is going on. I am not sure why.

This is another great spreadwing, Archilestes grandis. Zilker Gardens is the only place I seem to find them.

Click any photo to enlarge

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