Thursday, December 27, 2012

The dragonfly's lair

The pleasant winter climate in Florida comes with a catch -- mosquitoes are out and they are looking for blood.  Furthermore, they are frustratingly good at finding and extracting my blood.  Thus, it wasn't long before I received several painful and itchy reminders of the need to take precautions (such as wearing long sleeves and pants) before going out into the garden for any length of time.  Another component of my campaign against mosquito bites is to eliminate female mosquitoes on sight.  Consequently, I only get photographs of the males, which are harder to find but do not pose an immediate threat.

A male mosquito resting on a leaf (note the bushy antennae that distinguish males).
My campaign is supported by at least one resident mosquito hunter: a dragonfly.  In the mornings and evenings, I catch only brief glimpses of the dragonfly as it patrols the garden.  However, in the middle of the day I can pretty reliably find the twilight darner (Gynacantha nervosa) roosting in a sheltered part of the garden.

A twilight darner (Gynacantha nervosa) spending its day hanging from a palm frond.


  1. Keep at it, Emily...maybe you'll get them all.

    1. Unfortunately, I think that I am having a net positive effect on the mosquito population here.