Helicopter Damselfly (Mecistogaster lucretia)

Pricing: $70
Geographic Range: Costa Rica to Argentina
View: Top View  Sex: Male (left) & Female (right)
Size: Wingspan: 12cm

Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Mecistogaster linearis is primarily a South American species - distributed from Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador south to Argentina and Brazil - but it has also been found in lower Central America. The species inhabits primary and secondary forests and prefers semi-shaded areas. Female Mecistogaster linearis use their long abdomens to flick eggs into breeding sites. These breeding sites are temporary receptacles that catch and collect rainwater during the wet season, such as tree holes or the axils of bromeliads. Males will stake out suitable breeding sites and defend them from other males. Damselflies in the genus Mecistogaster have incredible wing control, which allows them to specialize in feeding on spiders. Their superior hovering techniques allow them to pick spiders right of their own webs while avoiding getting stuck in the spiders silk.