Flying frog attacks dragonfly

The following short video clip shows a female Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula vibrans) as she oviposits eggs in the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. A male Great Blue Skimmer dragonfly patrols the area to protect the female from other males.

Question is, did the dragonfly survive the attack by the frog? The following time series of 10 still photos provides the answer.

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Watching the second video in real-time, it looks like a close call for the dragonfly — was she safe or out (game over)? Looking at the “instant replay” (i.e., the preceding time series of still photos), it’s clear the frog missed “tagging” the dragonfly by a wide margin. For those of you scoring at home, the box score for the game of life looks like this: Dragonflies 1; Frogs 0.

The following photo gallery features annotated versions of the same time series of 10 still photos: the frog is highlighted in green (when necessary); the dragonfly is highlighted in blue.

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So what’s the life lesson learned from witnessing this extraordinary event? From an evolutionary viewpoint (i.e., survival of the fittest), it pays to have compound eyes that see in all directions as well as amazing aerobatic skills!

Tech Tips: Apple “Aperture” was used to save the preceding JPEG photos as still frames from the second video clip (GPS info copied from the video clip metadata to the JPEG photos). Apple “Preview” was used to annotate the second gallery featuring a time series of 10 still photos.

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