Nature has a way of hard-wiring the protective instinct into every living creature on the planet. As such, many will fake death in an attempt to avoid a known predator. However, in the case of this one type of insect, it seems to be taking the faking of death a little far, to avoid its own opposite sex.
The female dragonfly will indeed fake death to avoid the pesky attention and advances of any of its male suitors, according to a report in the New Scientist. It is almost assured that the same feeling is more than relatable to most any female across the entire animal kingdom.
However, in the case of the female moorland hawker dragonfly, some unwanted male admirers just can’t seem to understand that no means no. When the male comes a buzzing around, the female will go into a nosedive, plunging to the ground in true dramatic fashion and proceed to fake her own death.
A study recently published in the Ecological Society of America, indicated this very death faking behavior was typically reported to have been observed in 27 of 31 dragonflies. This percentage could actually suggest that this may very well be a far more common tactic than researchers initially thought.
The data also confirmed that out of the 27 instances where the female faked her death, 21 of them did, in fact, proved successful. However, in six cases, even though the female faked her death, she was still deemed desired enough for the male to attempt mating.
The researchers also noted that it was apparent that the female dragonfly was being intentionally misleading since as soon as the male dragonfly flew away, the females would be their lively selves again and go on about their business.
Lead researcher, Rassim Khelifa of the University of Zurich, has herself been studying dragonflies for almost ten years. She stated:
“I was surprised.”