Tuesday, August 09, 2016


Dragonflies (Anisoptera) with colorful iridescent bodies, multifaceted eyes, and transparent wings, have been abundant around the village lately. They are quick, agile fliers, and formidable predators, swallowing up many types of insects, including mosquitoes. The specimen below was rescued after it fell into the water, and was unable to fly. It perched on Lou's finger drying its wings, then crawled onto a tree branch before flying off.

As Pat Garber explains in her book Ocracoke Wild, "300 million years ago giant dragonflies with wingspans approaching three feet hovered over swamps and bogs, the largest flying insects of all time."

Ocracokers welcome dragonflies (called "skeeter hawks" on the island) every summer. They thrive in the vicinity of wetlands and are a sign of a healthy environment.

Our latest Ocracoke Newletter is the story of Augustus Cabarrus, early inlet pilot, and the present day d'Oelsnitz family. Click here to read the Newsletter: Ocracoke...The French Connection.  

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:24 PM

    a dragonfly with 3' wings probably ate more than just bugs. I'd love to find out just what they ate...crabs? frogs? small birds? snakes? Their eyes were probably the size of softballs. interesting. Good picture.