Dragonfly, a formidable predator

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I suggest here a more detailed follow up to this article, about odonate predation. A feeds exclusively on live preys, whether it is still at the stage of larva or of a winged imago: it consumes a wide variety of insects daily from flies (Diptera), to bees (Hymenoptera), to some beetles, to butterflies (Lepidoptera), or even to other odonates as we can see in the article above mentioned.

It is particularly well equipped to this end: First of all its compound eyes are the largest in the world, proportionally to its body. Thousands of facets are grouped in separate zones having for function to reveal forms, colors and movements, the latter being perceived much faster than the human eye.

A compound eye will decipher an image much more effectively since it can analyze at very high speed, a higher frequency of the sequential vision (set of images or scenes analyzed separately).

Emperor dragonfly – Anax imperator

Emperor dragonfly with a Southern White Admiral.

Dr Steven Wiederman and his partner Professor David O’ Carroll (University’s Centre for Neuroscience Research in Adelaide – link to their original publication) determined that thanks to the thousands of facets it can focus on a prey located beforehandamongst many others and is even able to re-align its body towards the target.

It is also able to choose one alone in a large insect swarm and to keep stick to the one spotted target.These two researchers also demonstrated that the dragonfly is capable of a thought process more sophisticated than thought previously when it hunts down a prey. Thus it possesses intellectual cells for a selective attention, which was only demonstrated up to now with primates.

Scarlet Darter with a fly.

A dragonfly is able to fly at a very high speed and can have lightning accelerations, it also has the faculty to hover and even fly backwards.

Preys are caught by clawed and spiny legs. The smaller ones are eaten in flight whereas the largest are dissected on a perch.

A 4 spotted Darter with a dusty moth!

Black-tailed skimmer with a female scorpionfly.

Black-tailed skimmer eating a Common darter.

Also a Black-tailed skimmer with a scorpionfly.

Noushka Wildlife

Noushka

Passionate about Wildlife, Photography and Wildlife issues. I live in the south of at the present, but have lived in Africa for 16 years, in the U.S. for 3 years. With my husband, I created and managed a BIRD PARK in South Africa, raising mainly psittacines; the breeding facility housed over 1000 parrots at any given time. I speak French and English alike and manage decently in Spanish. My photography is about sharing fauna's beauty with other enthusiasts! Equipment: ALL NIKON Cameras: D500, D750 Tele lenses: 300 mm, 500 mm, 800 mm f5/6E, Zoom lenses: 16/80 mm, 80/400 mm, 200/500 mm and: Macro 150 Sigma. * * * My work can be seen HERE: http://1000-pattes.blogspot.fr/ * * * NOT ON FACEBOOK

Noushka Wildlife

Noushka Wildlife

Passionate about Wildlife, Photography and Wildlife issues. I live in the south of France at the present, but have lived in Africa for 16 years, in the U.S. for 3 years. With my husband, I created and managed a BIRD PARK in South Africa, raising mainly psittacines; the breeding facility housed over 1000 parrots at any given time. I speak French and English alike and manage decently in Spanish. My photography is about sharing fauna's beauty with other enthusiasts! Equipment: ALL NIKON Cameras: D500, D750 Tele lenses: 300 mm, 500 mm, 800 mm f5/6E, Zoom lenses: 16/80 mm, 80/400 mm, 200/500 mm and: Macro 150 Sigma. * * * My work can be seen HERE: http://1000-pattes.blogspot.fr/ * * * NOT ON FACEBOOK

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