There are so many animals who fake death to protect themselves from predators. But isn’t it a little to drastic to resort such an extreme tactic only to avoid a male of your own species? Well, believe it or not, that’s exactly the length that female dragonflies feel like they need to go to, however, in order to dodge the pesky advances of male suitors, reports New Scientist.
No matter how bizarre it sounds, when an unwanted admirer flies in her zone, the dragonflies female just plunge to the ground and act as dead.
A recent study, presented by the Ecological Society of America, this strange behavior was reported in 27 out of 31 dragonflies observed, a percentage that suggests it could be a far more common tactic than previously realized. Out of these 27 instances, 21 of them proved successful, which means that in six instances, a dead female was still desirable enough for the male to attempt copulation.
According to lead researcher Rassim Khelifa from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, it was clear that the female dragonflies were being false because soon after the males flew away, the ‘ladies’ would immediately brush themselves off and go about business as usual.
The unusual behavior is quite surprising as is the first time it’s been observed in dragonflies, even if it is pretty common among females of different wildlife species. In fact, even the lead researcher of the study was blown away by this conduct. “I was surprised,” Khelifa said.