National Geographic : 1914 Jul
© THE DRAGON-FLY AND ITS VICTIM (Macromia) When I caught the dragon-fly whose picture is shown here, I held it by the wings, and, catching afly that buzzed about the table, dropped it in its claws. Without a moment's hesitation its mouth opened wide and closed upon the fly. Iwatched itdisappear underneath itsgreat upper lip and almost fancied I could hear its shell crack as the powerful jaws and lower lips turned it around and around inthe mouth. Afew seconds only and the sucking throat had drawn out all the blood, and the lips threw out a ball-like massmade up ofthe fly's wings, legs, and crushed body skeleton. Then it opened again for more. One entomologist has said that in two hours a dragon-fly will eat atleast forty house-flies, and Doctor Howard says that, if starved for food, it will eat up its own body. Perhaps some one will find away todomesticate this creature and make it live upon the house-flies around the house. As a first step, Needham has fed the larve on bitsof meat. Sharpe, the British authority, has observed a dragon-fly returning again and again to the same bush, and Westwood believes he sawthe same individual hawking for several weeks together over the same small pond. Photo and note by David and Marian Fairchild.