Thursday, October 21, 2010

Creature Feature: Six-Winged Darter.

I can't use this pic 'cause it's copyrighted, but - oh, hell with it. This picture really speaks for itself:
Yes, that dragonfly really does have six wings. It is called a Six-Winged Darter or Sympetrum sepenni. It went extinct in Sweden during the last Ice Age, but as of right now is one of the few badass things to ever exist in Poland (along with the aurochs). 

Where badass creatures go to die and/or be resurrected.

Why does this dragonfly have six wings? As one can probably imagine, the wings help it maneuver in the air (although this was not so helpful during the big freeze). They are also used to attract mates; when mating season arrives, the third pair of wings changes color to red/black. Faeries live; deal with it.

Sorry, no pic here.

The Six-Winged Darter is the only nocturnal dragonfly species known to date. It sees infrared wavelengths -i.e. heat vision-  like many insects, so the darkness is not a problem. This dragonfly might be able to hunt in packs, but the reports are so rare that it has to be chalked up to rumor. 

Whatever. It's still awesome. It's also all from one guy's notes, since even Wikipedia does not acknowledge this insect's existence.


  1. I found this site because I took some pictures a few days ago of a dragonfly and was certain I saw three wings. I did a search to see if I am mistaken by some illusion in my photograph and found this site.

    1. …Looked at my shots again, and I am still unsure if I am seeing three pairs of wings or if it is just an illusion. For the record, my little fellow was shot in the Florida Everglades, by Markham Park in Weston, Florida. That is quite a ways from Poland.

      I am leaning towards optical illusion.