Fw: "do dragonflies bite?"

Dana Denson ORL (407) 894-7555; SC 325-2355 Dana.Denson@dep.state.fl.us
Tue, 25 Jan 2000 07:52:22 -0500 (EST)

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Fellow odonate enthusiasts,

Greetings from sunny (but right now unusually cold!) Florida.

On the subject of dragonfly bites, I have had an unusual experience a couple of
times in which I thought you might be interested. I have certainly received my
share of bites from adult dragonflies in the hand, but in a couple of instances
I was bitten by larvae. Twice I've been nipped by larval Anax junius that I was
holding in my hand. The bite didn't really hurt - it was more like a pinch -
but the critter held on so tight with its labial palps that I had to literally
pull it loose from my hand! It would not shake loose, holding on with
bulldog-like tenacity.

I haven't experienced this with any other species, though I wouldn't be
surprised to learn that this occurs with other aeschnid larvae and maybe some
of the more active libellulid larvae, such as Tramea carolina.

How about you? Any larval odes tried to take a chunk out of you lately?

Dana Denson
Aquatic Biologist, Surface Water Monitoring Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

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