I had heard the praises of dragonflies being sung before—how they had incredible flight capabilities, insane hovering skills, and how the US military was studying their biomechanics to try to design more efficient aircrafts. I didn’t think much of it.
But a couple of months ago, I got the chance to retreat to a family cottage in the country for a whole week. I started taking it easy, replacing work with things like fishing, boating, and lying out in the sun. Life was good.
I didn’t have any responsibilities, and found it extremely relaxing. And when you’re in a mindset like that, you start noticing little things around you that you would have otherwise overlooked—like dragonflies.
I noticed one while I was sitting out by the dock one afternoon. I watched it hover and dart around, stopping on a dime and changing directions so fast it made my head spin. I had never truly studied a dragonfly before, and was astonished. It had complete command of flight in a way that I’d never seen any bird or insect possess. It was like watching a superhero.
Although it was enjoyable for me, it must be terrifying for other bugs. We see a pleasant looking insect darting and whirring around, while they see a giant, hungry predator that’s hyper-agile and fast as lightning. Dragonflies are considered to be one of the most successful predators in the entire Animal Kingdom. They’re thought to have the best vision of any insect, enjoying a 360-degree view of their surroundings. Dragonflies capture 90-95% of the prey that they pursue (for reference, great white sharks have a 50% success rate; lions only around 25%), and often eat it right away with their powerful serrated teeth. Dragonflies can catch and eat their prey so fast that the only way we can actually see it happen is on a high-speed camera.
But dragonflies are still bugs. And if any bug is bothering you, give us a call so you can rest easy.
Source 1: http://www.bonnersferryherald.com/news/outdoor_news/article_416a4f7c-2276-11e4-b395-0019bb2963f4.html