A dragonfly.

Photo via Luc Viatour/Wikimedia Commons

Study shows female dragonflies play dead to avoid males—and women of Twitter reply ‘same’

Yes, harassment is so bad that women are envying fake insect death.


Samantha Grasso


Posted on Apr 27, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 4:14 pm CDT


A new study out of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, found that female dragonflies of a specific species, the moorland hawker, will suddenly play dead mid-flight and crash-dive to the ground in order to avoid the harassment and advances of male dragonflies.

According to researcher Rassim Khelifa via New Scientist, the moorland hawker is vulnerable to harassment when it lays eggs because its mate doesn’t guard it, unlike other dragonflies. A single sexual encounter is enough to fertilize all the female’s eggs, and could subsequently damage her reproductive tract.

Within mere minutes of the study’s publication, hundreds of women chimed in on Twitter to identify with the dead-dropping, harassment-avoiding moorland hawker butterfly.
















Yes, this is quite possibly the most relatable, hilarious study conclusion women who have experienced harassment have come across in some time because it has to do with insects instead of actual humans. Like LOL, could you imagine if women could avoid being accosted by a harassing man for another second if they just crossed their eyes, stuck out their tongues, and keeled the fuck over? Hilarious!!!

We get these tweets are jokes (we all made them, too). But think about it: Harassment of female humans by male humans is so awful that real-life adult women are finding humor in wishing they too could emulate a flying insect and fucking crash land into the cold, clammy embrace of death, just in order to get men to take a hint and leave them alone. Literally hundreds of women find solace in jokes of faking their own destruction over receiving unwanted attention from a man.

The amount of responses that included some form of the phrase “Same,” “It me,” and “I feel you, sis” is infinite—all over an insect that dive-bombs to its possibly real death. How bad must harassment be for this to be the alternative women prefer over most anything having to do with unwanted attention from a man? Pretty fucking bad.









Another researcher from the University of Vigo in Spain said female moorland hawkers only play dead if male harassment is “intense,” which by human standards could mean anything from being asked to take off your headphones to getting IRL murdered.

Khelifa also found that the females will often retreat to dense vegetation while laying their eggs “probably to hide” and “act dramatically when they emerge.” Which, again, as an adult women, I too would totally do if I was getting harassed while going about my fucking business. Imagine not being able to fly freely about your pond without a male dragonfly trying to get it in all because he doesn’t see you with your dragonfly boyfriend—some shit, huh!

So yes, pardon me if I duck into some heavy brush because this fuckfly’s been following me for the last five lily pads and then get upset once I’m fed up with hiding because I can’t be left alone and would rather pretend I’m dead. It’s hard out here for females of any species, apparently.

H/T DavidNelsonNews/Twitter

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*First Published: Apr 27, 2017, 7:34 pm CDT