Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dragonfly love

I've always been fascinated with dragonflies. No real reason why, but they do look pretty interesting. I'm finishing up the neighborhood newsletter and there was a small tidbit on dragonflies (not my words):

Did you know that some dragonflies migrate? One of the best known migrating dragonflies is the Common Green Darner (Anax junius), one of the largest dragonflies around and a frequent visitor to [our neighborhood].


According to at least one source, swarms of up to a million migrating green darners have been seen in Illinois and New Jersey. What’s intriguing is that it appears not all green darners migrate. No one is sure why. Like monarchs, the green darners that do migrate are making a one-way trip. Their offspring will complete the migration cycle back.


And there are ecological connections to this natural wonder. Kestrels have been observed migrating in proximity to the dragonflies, and it appears likely that the dragonflies are a great in-flight energy source for the birds, especially the juveniles. And speaking of eating, another name for these elegant but carnivorous creatures is “Mosquito Hawk” in recognition of their consumption of that annoying insect. If only there was a way to contract with them to patrol our yards this year.


We could definitely use some more "mosquito hawks" around here lately! Useful and pretty – I approve!

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