Scientists might have saved the Hine’s emerald dragonfly from extinction, as they have obtained eggs from a specimen and have been caring for them for the last four years. Now they are releasing the almost-adult dragonflies into the wild, with great hope that they could get a second chance of a fruitful life.
It was believed that the Hine’s emerald dragonfly had disappeared from the face of the Earth for good, but a team of researchers from the University of South Dakota have managed to come into the possession of several eggs that were obtained from a specimen found in Wisconsin, according to wilx.com.
Since then, they have offered the eggs an artificial home, that came with plenty of nourishment and free of predators and the majority of predictable hazards. This has increased their odds of survival significantly, and so the scientists feel confident to release the pre-adult stages in the wild.
The Hine’s emerald dragonfly has a very lengthy life cycle, as it takes approximately four years for the eggs to mature into adults, that only live for about five weeks. In this short period of time, they need to find a viable mate, so that they may reproduce. This is their main goal and they will spend their time searching for the most suitable mate.
Then, once the female has been fertilized, she will find a river, a spring, or some other form or flowing water, that will be the home of her offspring. She will insert the posterior end of her body into the water and place the eggs there. Then, the eggs hatch underwater and spend the four-year period flowing down stream, until they are mature enough to get out of the water and spring into adulthood. The adults live roam during the months of June and August, when the climate is most suitable for them to find their mate.
“A small butterfly doesn’t really have any economic value and probably could go extinct and we’d never even know it. But I think there’s an obligation to our future generations of people that we try to preserve the Earth in at least as good a condition as we found it,” said Mike Grimm, an ecologist who was part of the team who nurtured the dragonfly eggs.
At this point, the fate of the dragonfly eggs is perfectly similar to that of mythical dragon eggs, as they represent the last chance at survival of a glorious species.
Image Source: natureworldnews