Dragonflies for Dinner

Just a quick post today!  I came across a page on the NOVA website (hooray for PBS!) written by the authors of Man Eating Bugs that listed edible insects and the countries where they are commonly eaten.  I’ve heard that people commonly eat the giant water bugs I work with, as well as crickets/grasshoppers, mealworms, and various large, fleshy insect larvae.  I come across very few reports of people eating dragonflies though.  Maybe they’re too hard to catch to rely on as food?  But people do catch and eat them!  This snippet comes from the NOVA website linked above (and is described in more detail in the authors’ book), describing how people capture dragonflies for food in Bali, Indonesia:

dragonflies captured for dinner

Dragonfly haul! Photo from NOVA, link at top of page.

Although chicken replaced dragonflies on his dinner table years ago, [our guide] Darsana taught his children how to hunt the insect using a slender strip of palmwood dipped in the sticky white sap of the jackfruit tree. … Standing in one paddy, Darsana shouts encouragement as his 8-year-old daughter, Ni Wayan Sriyani, slowly extends her bamboo pole as far as she can reach. A dragonfly approaches, zig-zagging over the rice. Like an expert fly-fisher, she flicks out the end of her pole and catches the wing of the first dragonfly of the day. … [Later] the family returns home to fry the cache of dragonflies in coconut oil and pop them in their mouths like candy.

This sounds like a much more efficient means of catching dragonflies than the standard entomological method of using a net!  Also kinda makes me want to fry up a dragonfly next time I catch one, just to see what they taste like…


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