Dragonflies can see it ALL

They have Super Sights

Mating dragonflies on water. Watercolour and inks on paper. J.Leahy. 2012

Dragonflies are loved by most humans. They are very fast, roam free, and live for a short time. They make the most of their lives; something we humans are not often known for. I absolutely love the insect myself. I have done numerous studies (as in art form) on dragonflies, and in the process of researching dragonflies, found a lot of interesting information about them. They are said to be lucky omens in some cultures. I wanted to share this story from Andrew Handley about dragonflies, although, his article implies the insect is monstrous. See the YouTube video for more insight into their habits.

They’re Efficient Hunters


That example did serve a purpose though—dragonflies are incredibly efficient at what they do, bringing in close to 95 percent of the prey they set out to capture. For comparison, sharks, one of nature’s fiercest predators, only manage to catch about half of the prey they hunt. Lions, the shark of the land, are lucky to get their claws on a quarter of their targets. See, even lions don’t calculate to intercept—they chase, zigzagging through the savanna in response to the movement of their prey. If dragonflies were large enough to eat gazelle, lions would be starved into extinction through sheer inefficiency.When a dragonfly sets its sights on a target, it will almost always end up with a meal. 


The dynamics of capturing an object in mid-air are staggeringly complex, so much so that it’s usually something that’s only done by animals with complex nervous systems, like seagulls, or humans. To intercept something moving with its own velocity, you have to be able to predict where it will be in the future. When researchers began studying dragonflies in 1999, they found that rather than “track” their prey—follow it through the air until they caught up with it—they would actually intercept it. In other words, dragonflies ensure a kill by flying to where their prey is going to be. That indicates that dragonflies calculate three things during a hunt: the distance of their prey, the direction it’s moving, and the speed it’s flying. In the space of milliseconds, the dragonfly calculates its angle of approach and, like a horror movie monster, it’s already waiting while the hapless fly stumbles right into its clutches.

Read more from the link below: http://listverse.com/2013/04/18/10-surprisingly-brutal-facts-about-dragonflies/

4 thoughts on “Dragonflies can see it ALL”

  1. We have lots of these beautiful insects on our lakes and ponds, too. They are a pleasure to see – amazing colours. An interesting post and video and a lovely piece of your own art. Thank you.


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