Rumor has it that Washington, D.C. was built on a swamp. This is, in fact, a myth. I assume the weather here helps perpetuate the falsehood. D.C. summers are hot, humid, and mosquito-filled.
Mosquitoes seem like they are good-for-nothing, don’t they? Yet little on earth fits that category. Mosquitoes, which I see as nothing but the pestilential spreaders of itchy spots, are seen as tasty treats by others.
Bats, birds, fish, frogs, turtles, and dragonflies are all examples of creatures who dine on mosquitoes. Today I am going to focus on dragonflies – agile predators who love a good mosquito-filled meal.
There are many kinds of dragonflies, but the ones I have been seeing with the most frequency this summer are blue dashers. Blue dashers are small – about one inch long. Even so, they are quite easy to see. Blue dashers are a beautiful, eye-catching, iridescent-blue color. And blue dashers will let you get a good look at them; they often perch and stay still for a while.
I love it when dragonflies visit my garden. They are such fun to watch! Dragonflies have four wings, which make them powerful flyers. Their fancy flight-work is impressive indeed. Have you ever seen a dragonfly hover like a helicopter?
I have three more links about dragonflies to share with you today:
The first is a fifteen-minute video from National Geographic called The Secret World of Dragonflies, which delves into the lives of these insects quite thoroughly. I found it riveting!
The second is an article from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute called
Smithsonian Scientists Unlock the Mystery of Dragonfly Migration.
And finally, here is a short, informative guide to some common-in-this-area dragonflies from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.