10.04.2008

Do Slime Molds eat Dragonflies?


Yesterday I was headed out to wander about and check on my friends' pond. I spotted a white blob on the lawn and I felt curiosity rise through me. Cameras in hand I found what appeared to be a new slime mold with a motionless dragonfly stuck to it. I wondered "is it dead, I see no movement". It is interesting how there is a feeling in something as to whether it is dead or not, my suspicions were correct, not dead, just gave up the battle. Slowly I pried the little fellow off the pile of slime.

My question is: how did this happen? Is slime mold food to a dragonfly and it accidentally got stuck? Did it land there out of curiosity and then get stuck? Does slime lure critters in with some amazing scent and then capture them in their stickiness and slowly devour the little critter?

If you know and share the answer with us in the comment section of this post you will be rewarded with a spirithelpers greeting card, handmade by me!

I sure hope this little critter survives the slime that is still on it's wings and feet!

10 comments:

  1. I imagine that is one grateful dragonfly. And if that's not good karma, I don't know what is!

    As for the mold ... not a clue.

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  2. I don't know either however i do know Mother Nature smiled on you today.
    Ang

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  3. I just scoured the internet & couldn't find a thing... Best wishes to the dragonfly.

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  4. I think, perhaps, that you and I have more in common than just falling trees. I spend my walks putting newts to the side of roads.

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  5. I still don't know either! Perhaps it is just sticky stuff. The other day I found a moth stuck on a sticky mushroom cap. I am pretty sure it died there. Not a pleasant way to go!

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  6. I don’t want to act like a know-it-all, but since no one else is answering I’ll throw in my two bits:

    - Dragonflies are opportunistic predators that will eat anything they can catch – anything from other dragonflies to small hummingbirds. They hunt while in flight and chase down their prey in mid air. They also eat as they fly. I don't think slime moulds are in their diets.

    - Slime moulds feed on decaying organic matter, bacteria, yeasts, protozoa, and other minute organisms which it engulfs and digests. The key word here is minute. We’re talking about things smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. I’m pretty sure that dragon flies are not in it’s (their?) diets.

    Slime moulds are fascinating organisms that don’t easily fit into a classification of living things. Sometimes they act like animals, sometimes like fungus – mostly they look and act like alien beings from a distant world. And they are smart. Japanese scientists constructed a maze, and placed food at the end of two exits, with four possible routes. Surprisingly, the slime mould squeezed itself into the shortest section of maze to reach the food. The experiment may indicate that the slime mould, a single-celled organism, may possess a primitive intelligence.
    My guess (and it’s just a guess) is that this poor dragonfly fellow inadvertently landed in this sticky mess and couldn’t get out. Luckily for him along came our heroine, Tammie Lee, who is not merely a Spirithelper, but a helper of lesser souls as well . . .

    Cheers!
    Son

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  7. Sir Son,

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us! So darn interesting! Love that maze info. A'maz'ing to consider slime being smart and precise. But most life is, except humans sometimes. Oops did I write that! My attention to slime will be different from here out, I thank you for this.

    So intense to picture a dragonfly eating a small hummer! I have two ponds in my yard and the dragonfly scene is quite violent. Well a lot of the pond activity is. Everyone is eating each other. It is more exciting than the best of Hollywood thrillers.

    As always I appreciate what you have to share.

    Tammie

    PS now you have two cards! let me know...
    or wait for a couple more ;~)

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  8. I hope he survived. I am so glad you saved him :)
    I do the same thing, which is why I could never be a wildlife photographer for National Geographic...I would be grabbing all the animals and saving them!

    Nice blog!

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  9. You know, I have to tell you, I truly savor this website and the useful insight. I find it to be refreshing and quite clarifying. I wish there were more blogs like it.
    Good luck to the dragonfly!
    mold inspector indianapolis

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  10. You really are a hero at heart! Nice article and pics!
    Sherman Unkefer

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Warm greetings to you~

Thank you for visiting and also for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Seeing through your eyes and heart mean so much to me!

Tammie