Sunday, May 23, 2010

King of the Dragons

The top dragonfly predator in North America would have to be the dragonhunter. These dragons are found through out the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. I photographed this black dragon, as they are sometimes called, on the shores of the Snake River where it meets the St Croix River.
The only member of the genius Hagenius, they are the largest of the North American dragonflies, averaging 3.3 inches long. They are fairly easy to identify due to their large size and their habit of flying with their abdomen curled under in a sort of "J" shape.
The dragonhunter is legendary for their ferociousness. They have been known to eat large butterflies and dragonflies, this includes other large dragons such as darners, clubtails and even other dragonhunters. They are immune to some types of wasp poisons and to the toxins that build up in monarch butterflies due to their milkweed diet. Typically when hunting they ambush from above, dropping down on their prey like the river jewelwing damselfly that this dragonhunter is eating.

11 comments:

Don't Bug Me! said...

That is amazing - is he eating a damselfly?

Dimple said...

Very interesting! I learn a lot from other bloggers...

Dave said...

Amazing, vivid details.

Jama said...

Such clear details!

Kala said...

Wonderful details of the dragonfly!

Jayne said...

I love dragonflies, they *look* so primaeval! Lovely shots.

Hootin' Anni said...

"king" of the dragons indeed.

Excellent.

GLASS EYE - my link if you'd like to view my macro this week.

Becky and Gary said...

Wonderful shots of this creature. I hope to see more of them this summer. We live on the banks of French Creek in SW New York state and Dragons are something I'm always looking for.
Stop by my blog if you have a minute.
Becky

The Early Birder said...

Sure looks like a fearsome hunter. FAB.

Randy Emmitt said...

last year I was watching tow of these Dragonhunters on a limb over the river and another came in and snatched up one of the Dragonhunters. So they are cannibals too.

"Lillagul" said...

Great pictures on the Dragonhunter !
Interesting to read about them too :)