Optical illusion, or weird injury?

I was walking home from the lab, when I saw this utterly motionless dragonfly perched on a signpost. I looked at it closely, and there seemed to be something unusual about it –the back of its head was gone, with a sharp boundary at the eyes. It looked like it had been surgically snipped out, but that seemed so improbably, I thought it had to be some kind of illusion.

Then I touched it and it flew away.

I keep telling everyone, in case of a zombie insect invasion, they have a ventral nerve cord, so aim for the throat, not the top of the head.


  1. xmp999 says

    It’s obviously a government surveillance cyborg. They’re on to you. Seriously though, I looked at some of my dragonfly photos, and it seems to be normal, just sitting with its head tilted down. I think those giant eyes seen from behind make it look like the head is hollow

  2. marcoli says

    This is normal. Dragonfly heads are weird in several ways. This ‘dragon’ is commonly known as the blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis).
    Carrying a macro-lens around does this to ‘ya. You start seeing strange new things. Wondering. Asking questions.