Sandra Yagi - Garfish Fly


Watercolor and ink on moleskin watercolor paper // 11.25 x 15.25 

Sandra Yagi created this piece for Antler Gallery's annual show "Unnatural Histories" in 2016.

Garfish Fly

This hybrid creature is a hybrid of the garfish and dragonfly.  It inhabited the swamps and rivers of the largely unexplored and verdant land known as Jamata and the nearby island Tuzan.   The garfish fly was fully described by the naturalist of the Armistead Expedition, which set sail in 1779 from London.  Jamata was rumored to lie in the western Pacific Ocean, west of the Vanuatu Islands and due south of the Solomon Islands.  The Armistead Expedition was charged with confirming that Jamata did indeed exist, and to catalog its topography, people, flora and fauna.  

The garfish fly starts life as an underwater nymph.  The nymph stage lasts for 2 years, and it starts out capturing copepods, daphnia, and small insects, but eventually graduating to eating small fish and tadpoles as it approaches its final molt.  The adults emerge and live for another year, snatching small fish out of the water with tooth-lined jaws while hovering above the surface.  A skillful and highly maneuvering flier, they can also catch flying insects on the wing and devour them while in flight.  Mating takes place in late spring near the end of the adult life cycle, followed by  the females depositing eggs on floating foliage.  

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