Okefenokee Dragonflies – Insectivorous, Cannibalistic Carnivores!

Common Green Darner, Anax junius, dragonfly. One of the most common and abundant species throughout North America, dragonflies are abundant throughout the warm season in the swamp. Photographed May 3, 2020 on the Trembling Earth Nature Trail in Stephen C Foster State Park; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

​Despite their innocent looks, and harmless alighting upon an extended finger, dragonflies are voracious carnivores! In fact, their insectivorous habits gave them the name odonata, which is Greek for “toothed”.  Strange Lives of Familiar Insects claims a dragonfly can ingest their own body weight in 30 minutes. And I suppose cannibalism isn’t out of the question, as I have once sat and watched a darner devouring another dragonfly head first.

But sometimes, predator can become prey…

Giant Lichen Orbweaver, Araneus bicentenarius, trapped and eating a dasher dragonfly in a web. Found on the Trembling Earth Nature Trail in Stephen C Foster State Park, Georgia. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. May 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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