It’s a bug eat fish world.

Dragonfly Larvae Eating a Minnow


  1. #1 Adrian Thysse
    October 3, 2009

    Bug eats amphibian – that looks like a tadpole to me.

  2. #2 Anon
    October 4, 2009

    Anyone who has not read “Watchers at the pond”, consider this your wakeup call. Yes, it is nearly as old as I am (hardback version, November 1961), but it is a stunning book. Laden’s video immediately brought to mind, from decades ago, the description of a hummingbird captured by a praying mantis. Natural selection is not for the weak or sentimental.

  3. #3 llewelly
    October 4, 2009

    That’s nothing. In Minnesota, I hear the mosquito larvae are big enough to eat small dogs.

  4. #4 luna1580
    October 4, 2009

    are you sure the “victim” isn’t a tadpole? looks more tadpole than minnow to me…

  5. #5 biopunk
    October 4, 2009

    looks like a tadpole to me too…

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    October 4, 2009

    Tadpoles do not have gill plates. That is a fish.

    What is probably incorrect is to say that it is a minnow. It is a fry or young something, not necessarily a minnow. And, it is not “bug” eats “fish” … the dragon fly is not a bug.

  7. #7 Jim Thomerson
    October 4, 2009

    I don’t think it has gill plates. I think we are just seeing that the head has bony support and the body behind does not. If it is a fish, I have not seen its like before. Notice that it does not have pectoral nor pelvic fins. No, it is not a larval lamprey.

  8. #8 biopunk
    October 4, 2009

    Greg, in some frog species the immature tadpoles (“hatchlings” being the correct term to use here…) do have transitional finger-like gills after they hatch as in this woodfrog. Wood frogs also have rather large gill slits relative to the size of their heads, so confusing them with other types of non-amphibian hatchlings isn’t that uncommon unless you’re somewhat familiar with them.

  9. #9 Diane G.
    October 5, 2009

    Sweet vid! Agree with others that that’s a tadpole. And to be technical, it’s a dragonfly nymph (or sometimes, naiad, to emphasize its aquatic stage), not a larva… 🙂

  10. #10 Paladin
    October 6, 2009

    the dragon fly is not a bug.

    Is it a feature then?

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    October 6, 2009

    Well, a tadpole is technically a fish until it transmogrifies into a frog.