Sunday, August 8, 2010

The King of the Dragons

The largest dragonfly that we have here in Minnesota is the dragonhunter. A member of the Gomphidae, or clubtail, family the dragonhunter averages about 3.3 inches long. They are usually found allow the shores of forested rivers and streams, I photographed this one at Wild River State Park on the St Croix River.
The dragon hunter is so unique and special that it is the only dragonfly in the whole world that is in the genus Hagenius. Dragonhunters are fierce predators that often eat other dragons, even other dragonhunters. They will also eat large butterflies, including monarchs who's toxin they appear to be immune to.
They are easy to identify because of their size. In flight the tip of the abdomen often hangs down and curls giving them the appearance of the letter J. Since they often attack from above the curl of the abdomen actually helps them to hold on to some of their larger prey.

13 comments:

Mary Lou said...

I've been loving dragonflies lately and tried to get a good photo.. This one is beautiful and thanks so much for the info..Very interesting.

Sue H said...

I'm enjoying your blog so much. Last month, I was looking for the identification of some butterflies, bees, and dragonflies I was seeing behind our house, and I came across your blog. Thanks for all the great pictures and information. It's especially interesting because we live in the greater Minneapolis area.

Chesney said...

I love that alien face...what crystal clear details!

Randy Emmitt said...

Enjoyed the close up great job! I saw two of these land on a limb over a river last year, a third came in and grabbed one of the two and carried it off for dinner.

Slugyard said...

Great shots- they are sometimes so hard to catch standing still.

Kala said...

That last image of the dragonfly is just adorable! He's so cute.

jay said...

Excellent pictures of dragonflies as usual! Good info, too.

Cecilia Artista said...

Wonderful pictures of the dragonflies!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Excellent...that last one reminds me of a helicopter. Dunno why...but it does.


My Macro is Nautical And I also added a bit about a new meme I'm inviting everyone; if you'd like to join in on the challenge. Come over and find out what day on which it will take place....join me?

Hope your Monday is treating you well.

justinegordon said...

stunning and thank you for all the information

Mama Zen said...

Awesome shots!

Tricia said...

Very cool

KaHolly said...

Oh, so excellent!! I know how difficult it is to catch one of these handsome devils at rest! Job well done. ~karen