Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tail-draggin' Dragonfly

B and I were walking around the block last night when we observed a bug drop from the sky and land awkwardly on the road. Curious, we went to investigate and found it was a dragonfly. B easily picked it up.

The clear wings and rusty coloring were impressive.

Once I had taken a couple of phone pictures, B tried to set it on a brick mailbox. 

It had become "attached" to him. Even when he held his  hand upside down, the dragonfly would not turn loose. B had to gently scrape it off ----and then it flew away.  It seemed strong, so we will never know why it suddenly dropped from the sky.

At home, I tried to identify this dragonfly and I think I got the Family, Libellulidae, which turns out to be the largest family of dragonflies in the world, with over 1,000 species. They are also known as skimmers. They have life cycles that include eggs, nymphs and adults. Nymphs live in water and eat everything they can get their jaws around. We have found them in Florida waters before. I have even mistakenly put them in aquariums with other aquatic life,  only to end up with a well-fed dragonfly nymph and little else.

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