Female Dragonflies Fake Their Own Deaths To Avoid Annoying Males

Sex and reproduction is just part of human nature, but while we human beings like to think we’re the only species advanced enough to think logically and critically about it. We couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, scientists have discovered that female dragonflies will go to some pretty intense lengths to avoid male members of the species pestering them for sex.

  1. They’ll literally fake their own deaths. When aggressive males approach, female dragonflies literally stop flying in mid-air, fall to the ground, and then lie extremely still so that the males think they’re dead and leave them alone, according to National Geographic. Genius!
  2. It’s called sexual death feigning. It’s basically a practice certain species use—one spider and the praying mantis do it, along with three other species—to protect themselves. Why do they need protection? Well, aggressive males can seriously injure or even kill the females during mating, so they’re basically just trying to stay alive.
  3. Yes, male dragonflies force females into sex. “In a lot of dragonflies, males try to seize the female with or without consent,” said Rassim Khelifa, a biologist at the University of Zurich who published his research in Ecology. “The fittest—that is the fastest, most powerful male—is usually the one who mates.” Yikes!
  4. What woman out there can’t relate to this? Obviously we don’t have to fear that men are going to kill us while having sex with us (hopefully!) and if we’re with decent men, we don’t have to worry about being forced into it, but we’ve all faked a headache or pretended to be asleep when the guys in our life got a little frisky, right?
  5. Nature’s so amazing. Sometimes we forget just how intelligent and incredible nature really is. We wouldn’t think a dragonfly would have such a complicated biological imperative that would have real meaning to our human lives, but it’s hilarious and really cool that it does.



Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia