Female Dragonflies Will Literally Fake Their Own Deaths To Avoid Males

We can think of pretty hilarious ways to avoid someone, but the female dragonflies have took this to a whole new level. When the female dragonflies don’t want to be intimate with their male partner, they play dead to avoid them!

This is specific to one dragonfly type, they are known as the moorland hawkers, but there are other types who would also do the same thing.

While collecting some larvae samples in the Swiss Alps, Rassim Khelifa from the University of Zurich, has witnessed this behavior for the first time in the moorland hawker dragonfly (Aeshna juncea).

He simply witnessed a female crash-diving on the ground while it was pursued by a male. She laid down without any movement, and as soon as the male left, the female stood up and then took off.

Khelifa has been studying on dragonflies for more than 10 years, and he said that he was very surprised to see this behavior.

At the University of Zurich, Khelifa did a study on the females death feigning, and it was proven that this tactic works successfully most of the time.

He watched 27 out of 31 female dragonflies tumble from the sky colliding with the ground and professing to be dead trying to convince the pestering guys to proceed onward, and 21 of these ploys finished with a triumph. 

Khelifa clarified that the moorland vendors don’t remain with their male mates once the demonstration is done and their eggs are prepared, so they are left increasingly defenseless against badgering. 

However, he is keen on seeing if the conduct is remarkable to species that lay eggs alone or whether it is increasingly across the board. 

According to National Geographic:

The mating custom of the moorland vendor dragonfly—normal around the lakes and wetlands of Europe, Asia, and North America-starts with what scientist Rassim Khelifa calls a gymnastic aeronautical fornication.

While in flight, the female Aeshna juncea reshapes so her woman parts, which are close to the finish of her body, interface with the male’ parts, which are close to his thorax. Along these lines participated in a disproportionate heart shape, they land and complete the sex act, whereupon the female will take off to lay her eggs.

Notwithstanding, different guys can look for sex before she can do it. In any case, as she has restricted eggs, she has been inseminated by the picked mate, and her regenerative tract can be harmed by rehashed relations, she dismisses them.

Therefore, in order to avoid further sex, she will fall down and act like she is dead, dropping from the air as she’s flying, and laying down motionless on the ground.

She’s pretending to be in an immobile state, that is a famous way to ambush or discourage a predator, it is known as the tonic immobility, thanatosis or death feigning, and it has been seen in many different varieties of invertebrates and vertebrates.


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