Dragonfly Exuvia

Subject: 6 Legged Alien Bug
Location: Near river, Pittsburgh, PA
July 25, 2013 12:04 pm
Hi there! I’ve been trying to identify this bug all day now, normally I don’t have much of a problem figuring out bugs with so many identification websites out there. but this fellow, I can’t even find anything close. Unfortunately, its not a photo of the actual insect, but it’s hollow shell it molted out of at some point. It couldn’t have been that long ago, no longer than a month because I didn’t see these when I went down to the dock on July 4th for the fireworks. I found at least 50 of these empty shells at the edge of walls on the dock by the river, I say 50 because after I saw that many I darted out of there.
I would say they are about 3 inches in size, I wish I could have gotten a reference for its size in the shot but I was afraid to get close to it, even as a shell. They are mostly coupled together in groups of two, all over the walls.
My friends and I eagerly await your response, these things are so freaky!!!
Signature: Sarah Marshall

Dragonfly Exuvia
Dragonfly Exuvia

Dear Sarah,
This is the shed skin or exuvia of a Dragonfly.  In their immature phase, Dragonflies have aquatic larvae known as Naiads.  When they are ready to mature, the Naiads crawl out of the water, shed their skins for the final time, and the Dragonflies fly away, leaving the exuviae behind.

Wow! Really?! I never would have guessed that in a million years! Thanks so much for the response! I feel safer knowing that there isn’t an alien breed growing outside my office!
Muchly appreciated,
Sarah

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