How Magical Are the Dragonflies

How magical are the dragonflies.

They zig-zag through the pollinator garden, a perfect portrait of a predator: multifaceted eyes, strong wings, and mouthparts that include a toothed jaw and flap like labrium.

They're an ancient insect: scientists have found fossil dragonflies that date back 325 million years ago.

Bank robber Willie Sutton (1901-1980) reportedly said he robbed banks "because that's where the money is." Predators, like dragonflies, frequent pollinator gardens because that's where the food is--food like native bees and syrphid flies.

Like other dragonflies, red flameskimmers, Libellula saturata, frequent our pollinator garden because of "Sutton's law." We welcome them with bamboo-stake perches. They circle the garden on their hunt, snag prey, and return to the perch to consume it.

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll see a dragonfly eat a bee (lucky for a nature photographer who wants to share a little bit of how nature works, but not so much for the bee!).

We can't tell what bee was on this male flameskimmer's menu, but it appears to be a longhorned bee, maybe Melissodes agilis, family Apidae.

It's eat and "bee eaten" in a pollinator garden.