Female Dragonflies Will Often Play Dead To Avoid Advances From Males

Biologists at the University of Zurich have discovered a certain species of dragonflies where the females utulize a pretty genius way to avoid unwanted advances from their male counterparts.

Rassim Khelifa was out collecting larvae in the Swiss Alps one day, when he noticed one dragonfly chasing another.  Suddenly, the dragonfly being chased stopped flying and suddenly crashed into the ground bellyup.  The one doing he chasing paused for a moment, then flew away.  When Khelifa approached the crashed bug, he noted that it was a female, and shocked when it seemingly revived itself and then flew away.

Of course he was completely intrigued wondering if this was intentional, and followed 31 different male and female pursuits over time.  Of those 21 pursuits, 27 of the females tried the same tactic of playing dead to avoid the fellas.  All the females in the pursuits had just left her eggs, or were on their way to their eggs, so they essentially were already spoken for.

This was the first discovery of such a method in dragonflies, but Khelifa notes it could likely occur in other species with females that are usually alone after laying their eggs.

Via Phys

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