Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dragonflies

We've had a number of questions about dragonflies lately, and no wonder. When you go for a walk on any of the Waskasoo Park trails, they seem to be completely swarming with dragonflies like this male Meadowhawk (probably Sympetrum internum, the Cherry-faced Meadowhawk. Males are red, while females are yellow). Luckily for those of us on the receiving end of the question of why there are so many dragonflies around, there's a pretty easy answer.

The high water levels this year led to a very high mosquito population. Dragonflies depend on mosquitoes as one of their major food sources, and the extra food supports more of the predators. The fact that dragonflies use mosquitoes for food both in their aquatic (nymphal) phase and in their adult phase has meant that they've been well-nourished throughout their life cycle this year.

The nice thing is that we're all benefitting from the high dragonfly population. More dragonflies eat more mosquitoes. It's natural pest control.

1 comment:

AnimalEnthuist said...

I didn't know that dragonflies ate mosquitos. Suddenly I find myself liking dragonflies a little more!