The Arthropod Series, Part II: Dragonfly Diner

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The Dragonfly Diner

There are many ordinary moments in nature that become very special only because we happen to be in a particular place at the precise time to see them happen.  Sunday afternoon, Ken and I got to experience one of those moments when a very large dragonfly, a Common Green Darner, zipped by with a another insect in tow.  Another dragonfly, identical to the first, swooped down in an aggressive attempt to steal the prize.  The grab maneuver failed, and the shimmering blue and green fighters peeled off in opposite directions.  Burdened with his prey, the first dragonfly landed just off the trail on a tall weed.  He seemed too hungry to care as we approached and stood close enough to hear him crunching.

I was carrying my camera as always, and, inspired by the spiders I mentioned in Part I, had the macro lens attached and ready.  The beautiful creature kept at his gruesome business while I snapped away. You’ll see in the last photo that I was beginning to try his patience.  I took the hint and moved on.

Common Green Darner (Anax junius)

The Common Green Darner dragonfly migrates to the south and tropics to breed in the fall, and a new generation flies back north to breed in the spring. They are a large dragonfly–3 inches long with a wingspan of 4.5 inches.  Males have a blue abdomen and females have a green abdomen.

Links

The Field Guide to Migratory Dragonflies

The Green Darner

Related Post

Dragonflies and Fairytales

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