Tuesday, October 2, 2018

John Reinke - Redmond's dragonfly whisperer

Credit / John Reinke
This dragonfly landed on John Reinke's finger when he was trying to scoop it out of a puddle on the Sammamish River Trail.  Here's a closeup in which you can see its legs, one of its large compound eyes, thorax and momentarily waterlogged wings. John believes it is a female paddle tail darner.  

Don't worry, dragonflies don't bite but they are voracious eaters of mosquitoes. Their legs are for catching prey in the air.  Most of their life (1-2 years) is spent as larvae living underwater. They spend 2-3 weeks flying around fattening up to lay their eggs in the water.  

We listened to a fascinating lecture on this animal by James Walker, PhD last week. He sells a book on Amazon and recently was interviewed by King 5.  It's a must listen!

-- Bob Yoder

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