January 25, 2011


Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" is actually a microphotograph (photographs of very tiny things that can only be seen through a microscrope).

You are looking directly into the face of a Southern Hawker dragonfly (Aeshna cyanea). These large (up to 3-inchs long), brightly colored dragonflies are often found near ponds or rivers, where they breed. They also travel quite widely - you may see one in your garden - and they seem to be curious, often flying close to you and hovering.

Can you spot the dragonfly’s eyes are in this picture? The eyes are actually the two biggest things in this photograph - the two large, grayish ovals below the yellow are the dragonfly’s compound eyes. These two main eyes actually contain up to 30,000 (that’s right, thirty-thousand!) tinier eyes, which turn the dragonfly into a born predator. These eyes are like balls, and allow the dragonfly to spot movement all around it, so much so that it has 360-degree vision! This helps the dragonfly sense even the tiniest movement, so that it can feed on insects in the air all around it.


Photo Credit: André Karwath/Wikimedia

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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