Dragonfly Insect Species, Types, Lifecycle, Lifespan, Habitat, Reproduction, Characteristics and Other related knowledge is shared on this page.

What is the Dragonfly?

The Dragonfly belongs to order Odonata which evolved from the many myths associated with dragonflies and their taxonomic cousins, the damselflies. There is the myth that the Dragonflies got its name Dragonfly because in old times, they were dragons. The dragonfly has been found in the almost every continent with each civilization. It has developed a unique meaning to it, its behavior and lifestyle.

The family name of the dragonfly comes from the Greek word for a tooth as Odonates. The dragonflies have one of most amazing eyes. The 80% of the brain power is dedicated to its sight and resultant, it can see in all 360-degree surroundings around it. There are also some theories that due to the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self.

Dragonfly Species

There are about 3000 extant species from which most of the found in the tropical and some few species also found in the temperate regions. Today there are about three thousand species of dragonflies exist across the world.

  • Rubby Darter
  • Northern Emerald
  • Eastern Amberwing
  • Variegated Meadowhawk
  • Downy Emerald
  • Aeshna Isoceles
  • Keeled Skimmer
  • Yellow Winged Darter
  • Scarce Chaser
  • Twelve Spotted Skimmer
  • Black Saddlebags
  • Anax Parthenope
  • Eastern Pondhawk
  • Hemianax Ephippiger
  • White Faced Darter
  • Black Tailed Skimmer
  • Red Veined Darter
  • Gomphus Vulgatissimus
  • Common Whitetail
  • Hairy Dragonfly
  • Brown Hawker
  • Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly
  • Black Darter
  • Blue Dasher
  • Golden Ringed Dragonfly
  • Common Darter
  • Emperor
  • Southern Hawker
  • Wandering Glider
  • Green Damer
  • Four Spotted Chaser

Types of Dragonflies

Dragonflies are easy to identify if you know the identification features of the various types of dragonflies. So, here are the several types of dragonflies explained well:

Skimmers: Libellulidae

The skimmer is the common name for the approx. 105 species in the libellulidae family. It is the largest Dragonfly exists in North America.

Darners: Aeshnidae

Darners can often see flies around the ponds, streams, and lakes which usually large blue spotted. The family contains the different forty species which divided into 13 genera.

Spiketails: Cordulegastridae

These are dragonflies that belong to the Cordulegastridae family and known as the common name Spiketails. All the species belong to the cordulegaster genus, and six of them are indigenous to forest and stream areas east of the Rocky Mountains. These are the large dragonflies with the thin black or dark brown abdomens covered with a bright yellow pattern.

Cubtails: Gomphidae

The species Gomphide contains around a hundred species that prefer to live around the water habitat.

Petaltails: Petaluridae

Petaltails are the native dragonflies of the Petaluridae family and supposed to the oldest of the dragonflies families. The family contains total of eleven species exists all over the world.

Emerald Dragonflies: Corduliidae

From the family Corduliidae, Emeralds are the green-eyed skimmers. It contains the six different genera and fifty native corculiidae species.

River Cruisers

The dragonflies from the family Macromiidae, commonly called cruisers which habit of cruising up and down roads, rivers. These have the two genera which contain nine species.

Dragonfly Diet: What do Dragonflies Eat?

Mostly dragonflies eat other flying insects, particularly mosquitoes and midges. They also take butterflies, moths and smaller dragonflies. The larvae which live in the water eat almost every living thing smaller than themselves. The larger dragonfly larvae get the small and fry sometimes. Usually, the major diet of the dragonfly comes from the bloodworms and other aquatic insect larvae. A dragonfly is an agile predator and mainly eats other insects.

Dragonfly Facts

  • A Dragonfly is a very good flyer and strong which can fly at the speed of 36 miles per hour.
  • There are approximately 3000 different species of the dragonfly which can be found almost everywhere in the world except in Antarctica.
  • A dragonfly’s eye has about thousands of lenses and still, they can’t get details of objects in their way.
  • Dragonflies are ancient insects which are surviving from more than 300 million years.
  • Dragonflies live in the water but as nymphs.
  • A dragonfly nymph breathes through its anus.
  • There are up to 90% of young dragonfly adults get eaten.
  • Dragonflies have excellent vision.
  • Male dragonflies exhibit aggression toward other males.
  • Dragonflies are capable of thermoregulation.

Do Dragonflies Sting?

The dragonflies do not sting and they are considered as the harmless insects. It cannot sting as they don’t have stingers. It is ready to sting your skin which adds to the already present misconception. But it just curves the long tail which gives the impression that it is ready to sting but actually, it is just a reverse reaction while you holding these creatures by hand.

Dragonfly Lifespan: How long does Dragonfly live?

The average lifespan of the dragonfly is seven months only. But the lifespan of the dragonfly depends on the various species and habitats as well. Do you know up to 90% dragonflies eaten by other predators as nymphs come out from the water. There are several species of the dragonflies which can survive up to several years as well.

Dragonfly Lifecycle

A dragonfly has a lifespan of more than a year but almost spend to grow up as adult. There are three stages of the dragonfly life cycle through egg, the nymph to adult dragonfly. Most of the dragonfly is lived out in the nymph stage. If you go underwater and you can see those by opened eyes. The female lays the eggs after mating with the male. A nymph looks like a little alien creature. Once the nymph is fully grown then it will come out from the water to complete metamorphosis into a dragonfly.

What does a Dragonfly Symbolize?

The dragonflies symbolize the pure water. Every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization, and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

Dragonfly Habitat: Where does Dragonfly live?

The immature or nymphs of dragonflies live in freshwater. They are most abundant a diverse in slow moving freshwater that has no fish (small ponds and streams) but can be found in many shallow freshwater habitats. Adult dragonflies have their habitat near water, but sometimes they travel away from the water for hunting and searching of food.

Are Dragonflies good luck?

In the numerous regions, there are a couple of symbolic meanings when a dragonfly comes around. The dragonfly signifies as good luck, purity, harmony and prosperity.

Do Dragonflies eat mosquitoes?

Adult Dragonflies mostly eat other flying insects including mosquitoes. They also like to eat butterflies, moths, and smaller dragonflies.

Dragonflies Vs Damselfly [Difference]

Characteristic Dragonfly Damselfly
Body Generally Stocky Long and slender body
Eyes The eyes of dragonflies touch or nearly touch, at the top of the head. Eyes are clearly separated and appear to sides of head.
Wing shape Wing pairs are not similar with hind wings large at the base All wings are same in shape
Position of wings at rest Generally wing held open either horizontally or downwards When wings usually closed over the abdomen.
Discal cell Divided into triangles Undivided, quadrilateral
Female Appendages Mostly have vestigial ovipositors Functional ovipositors
Male Appendages Pair of superior anal appendages, single inferior appendage Two Pairs of anal appendages
Larvae Breathe through rectal tracheal gills Breathe through caudal gills

Dragonfly Reproduction

Male dragonflies are violent breeders, sometimes splitting up mating pairs by ramming, biting and pulling the couple. The male dragonfly must inseminate himself. During the flight, the dragonfly grabs the damselfly’s head behind her eyes and she bends her abdominal tip for mating. The male often protect the female after mating and staying nearby until her eggs are laid.

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