Saturday, October 04, 2008

Beware the Attacking Dragonflies!


It's that time of the year when it seems like some of the dragonflies go berserk. I think they get old and might be dying, after all that reproducing and egg laying. You may have seen them flying around the porch lights at night, banging into everything like a crazy Kamikaze. Normally the most graceful fliers in the sky, you can actually hear them go "splat" against the side of the house. But they keep going.

So we were at our favorite gourmet deli last night, a riotous good time, and one fellow says he tried to help one particularly wayward fellow out. He grabbed it ... and the dragonfly bit the sh!t out of his hand! It drew blood!

It turns out that the name "Damselfly" is completely inaccurate and the more colloquial "mosquito hawk" is a much better word. Indeed, the Latin species classification for Odonata means teeth or mandibles, as in "flying mouth of teeth." Yipes, I bet that hurt.

But there are so many here on the Island, and they truly help keep the skeeter population down. They only seem to go crazy about this time of year, fortunately. And uh ... don't try to catch one with your bare hands, even though you can now.

3 comments:

Everett said...

Hi Sam, I'm sure you have noticed the picture on my blog. I just love those darn things. Their flight is nothing short of amazing. All the time I was kid we se to catch them all the time and was never bitten once. Might be we have a tamer version of Odanata up here. You know, a more civilized one!LOL
On quite a few occasions I was able to slowly move my hand right up too them from the front so they could see it coming, and had them step right up onto a finger!!

Sam said...

You got an especially pretty one on your blog, Everett. We have them in many colors and sizes as well. But some seem to go bonkers this time of year, big huge ones too! Never saw anything like it.

So don't worry ... I'm always finding weird stuff out there, like 5-legged rabbits and two-headed fish and stuff. Call me a sicko naturalist!
-sam

Little sammy said...

At least they're not as bad as the humming birds...;)