How big do dragonflies get around here?

Thread starter #1

Capt Quirk

Senior Member
I was sitting in the pool one night, watching the sun set. My truck was parked about less than 10 feet away to the west. I watched something circle the truck about 5 times, before it disappeared into the tall brush on the backside of the truck. It was blueish grey, about 6" long, and thin.

It circled the truck fast, maybe 5 seconds per lap, and had a smooth path. I ruled out bat, because they have a rather irregular flight pattern, lots of up and down and zig zags. It seemed too big for a hummingbird, unless there is a longtailed species here.

Dragonflies are extremely fast, and have a smooth flight path, when they want, but are normally 3-4". But, I am also seeing new strains of dragonflies that I haven't seen in the past. Different colors and patterns, but still 3-4".
 

JustUs4All

Sweeper Upper Mod
I just had a report from a neighbor who had a praying mantis take a humming bird from her feeder. She actually watched it happen and when she got to the where they were the mantis had the bird by the throat and it was all over for the bird.

Could it have been a mantis?
 
Thread starter #5

Capt Quirk

Senior Member
I just had a report from a neighbor who had a praying mantis take a humming bird from her feeder. She actually watched it happen and when she got to the where they were the mantis had the bird by the throat and it was all over for the bird.

Could it have been a mantis?
I can't say as I've ever seen a mantis fly. If they do, I'd have to imagine it would be similar to a grass hopper. Whatever it was, it was fast and banked tight circles. That is why I thought dragonfly.
 

Tom W.

Senior Member
A mantis can fly quite well. For years we used to have baby mantises all over the side of the house in the spring. And I've seen some monster sized momma mantises.

I haven't seen too many in the last few years here in Phenix City, but I suppose that a local farm or someplace out from town would harbor a few....
 
Thread starter #10

Capt Quirk

Senior Member
A mantis can fly quite well. For years we used to have baby mantises all over the side of the house in the spring. And I've seen some monster sized momma mantises.

I haven't seen too many in the last few years here in Phenix City, but I suppose that a local farm or someplace out from town would harbor a few....
But, can they do a fast and smooth circle? This thing did several laps around my truck like it was nothing. And it was a flat, smooth path, no up and down at all.
 

jrickman

Senior Member
There were a few buzzing around on opening day of dove season that were so big they had us raising shotguns when we caught them out of the corner of our eye.
 
But, can they do a fast and smooth circle? This thing did several laps around my truck like it was nothing. And it was a flat, smooth path, no up and down at all.
They can't fly like a dragonfly, but better than you would think looking at one. Probably not what you saw, though. I see them flying pretty often.
 
BTW, dragonflies are migrating right now. There have been some swarms big enough to show up on weather radar. I saw a swarm of several hundred yesterday.
 
Thread starter #16
I also thought it might be a hummingbird bird, they move pretty quick. But, I've never seen one with a long tail, or just zip around in circles
 
I caught a dragonfly barehanded and they started to call me ninja so I practiced and practiced only to find out I ain’t no ninja!

As for the mantis I kept a male and female in a jar hoping they’ll breed.
Next day the males head was gone.
They been around here lately and no longer a ton of dragonflies to practice my skills.
 
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