Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Strange pattern on a dragonfly

Dragonfly with apparent faceI have often seen photos of insects with false eyes, and even faces, on them. I say false because the 'faces' were not on the animal's head! I have never been lucky enough to photograph one for myself, until now (pic right). This is a Golden Ringed Dragonfly. Towards the top of the insect there is what looks like a face with bright yellow eyes, a tiny 'nose', and a two yellow 'teeth'. The 'face' has an angry look to it, to me anyway! Indeed, it looks more like an 'angry mask' than any real face.

The 'face' only appears obvious when the insect is in one position, like that in the photo. From other angles you don't really notice it. I took the photo when the dragonfly landed right in front of me. I only noticed the 'face' after I'd taken several shots. This might explain why the 'face' is not mentioned in a casual search of the web, unlike unusual patterns on some other insects.

I'm not sure if this face pattern has any purpose to the animal, like the eyespots you seen in some butterfly species. So it may only appear like a face to humans! Some people may feel there is a significance to that fact but I see it as a coincidence, barring other evidence to the contrary. But coincidences are, of course, a rich source of anomalous reports (see here).

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