Anax junius (Dru.) attracted to light at night (Anisoptera: Aeshnidae)
Notulae odonatologicae , Volume 4 - Issue 4 p. 70- 72
Although certain species of adult dragonflies are reportedly attracted to light (P.S. CORBET. 1962, A biology of dragonflies, Witherby, London; S.W. FROST. 1970, Fla Em. 53: 173-177), we can find few references substantiating these observations. Large crepuscular tropical dragonflies from forested regions of Africa and the neotropics occasionally are attracted to light and even enter houses (CORBET, 1962, he. cit.). A. DE ST. EXUPÉRY, 1967, Wind, sand and stars,, Jovanovitch, New York) records such an observation c. 1941-1942 at Port Etienne (20°56’N, lat.; 17°07 ' W, long.) on the west coast of North Africa (in present-day Mauritania). He reported that two large dragonflies were attracted to his lamp about 2300 hr and surmised that they had been blown to his small rural airstrip from their oases, hundreds of miles inland, by the hot desert winds rising before a coming sandstorm. On 25 April, 1989 at 2300 h (local time), one of us (A.P.P.) stepped outside his home located in the Ten Hills section of southwestern Baltimore City, MD. On the front porch he encountered a large adult aeshnid. which had been attracted to the outdoor light. The dragonfly was rapidly circling the lamp in a counter-clockwise direction, making tight spirals of —15 cm diameters. The insect buzzed loudly as it frequently banged into the edges of the glass lamp housing with the dorsum of its thorax. It continued circling the lamp for about three minutes while a net was obtained, with which it was collected easily. No other insects had been attracted to the light at that time. The dragonfly was identified as a male green damer, Anax junius (Dm.), and the specimen has been placed in the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) insect collection.
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