Enter the Dragonfly

By staff May 1, 2004

Sometimes you find things in the darndest places. We rotate two potted ficus trees between our lanai and the outside deck every two weeks to make sure they get enough fresh air and water. During one such exchange, this green darner dragonfly hitched a ride on one of the trees into our lanai.

The green darner, also known as the mosquito hawk, feeds on many insects that are harmful to humans, especially mosquitoes, and is one of the fastest (it flies at speeds of up to 35 m.p.h.) and biggest of dragonflies, growing to as much as three inches long. Found in South Florida year-round, it and is most readily identified by the "bull's eye" on its forehead.

The cooperative dragonfly remained motionless while we managed dozens of shots. But fearful that it might take flight inside our house, we carried the whole tree back outside, and the dragonfly soon flitted away, leaving this image behind.



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