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Photo#310901
Pacific Spiketail, Cordulegaster dorsalis, preys on wasp - Cordulegaster dorsalis - male

Pacific Spiketail, Cordulegaster dorsalis, preys on wasp - Cordulegaster dorsalis - Male
Rancho San Antonio, Cupertino, Santa Clara County, California, USA
September 2, 2006
Size: ~85 mm
A male Pacific Spiketail, Cordulegaster dorsalis, has caught and is devouring a yellow jacket wasp.

Males of this large dragonfly species cruise the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mtns hunting yellow-jackets, on which they appear to prey exclusively. The location here is a lower elevation near a stream; usually I find them higher, especially in chaparral areas.

Sometimes another member of the prey's social group shows up (summoned, apparently, by an alarm pheromone) but can do nothing to influence the outcome. That happened in this case (see link); the odo acted mildly annoyed by the second wasp's harassment, but not enough to fly away until the prey was consumed; in fact, it seized and consumed another immediately after finishing this one, but I cannot say with certainty that victim #2 was this harasser.

Prey appears to be a Vespula sp.

Images of this individual: tag all
Pacific Spiketail preys on Yellow Jacket - Cordulegaster dorsalis - male Pacific Spiketail, Cordulegaster dorsalis, preys on wasp - Cordulegaster dorsalis - male

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Fascinating!
Thanks for sharing!

 
Agreed
Nice shots!

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