Dragonflies have inspired awe as well as fear as Brett Westwood discovers as he traces our relationship with horse stingers and devil's darning needles.
Ruary Mackenzie Dodds became fascinated by dragonflies when one landed on his shoulder and instead of being terrified by the huge insect, he was captivated by its beauty. This beauty as well as their charisma, acrobatic flying and dramatic lifestyle have inspired both awe and fear across the globe as Brett Westwood discovers in this exploration of our relationship with Dragonflies. They have attracted names like Devil's Darning Needle, Horse Stinger and Water Witch, been used as emblems of strength, weather predictors and angler's friends. They have been captured in artworks and poetry and obsessed over by flight engineers but it's arguably whilst flitting among the rushes over a pool that they are at their most dazzling. Producer Sarah Blunt.
Ruary Mackenzie Dodds
Co-author of A Dazzle of Dragonflies James' fascination with nature led him to receive degrees in both botany and zoology. He spent the majority of his professional career working at the Texas AgriLife Research Station in Stephenville, TX, much of that time working with Dr. Forrest Mitchell on problems related to insect transmitted diseases of plants.
An avid outdoorsman, h became interested in dragonflies while a graduate student at Texas A&M University. He began photographing dragonflies, and other creatures of nature in 1994. He is an invited speaker or tour guide at a number of educational, civic and naturalists meetings and festivals each year, where he shares his fascination with dragonflies and other aquatic life with the general public.
Ed Jarzembowski is a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum London and visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, Specialising in the fossil record of insects. His career has included museum curation, environmental policy development, university lecturing and examination as well as finding time to do some archaeology and wildlife watching with his wife Brigid. Throughout this, he has remained fascinated by the unparalleled biological success of insects and their 400 million year history.
His expertise is recognised by fellowships of the Geological Society of London and the Royal Entomological Society. He recently received the Jiansu Friendship Award for international cooperation.