Hello, Mr Dragonfly!

Dragonfly in Slow Motion

Introducing the Dragonfly

The dragonfly is a fascinating and beautiful creature of many different sizes and colors.

During the summertime, I am amazed by the amount of dragonflies that delight us with their presence, if only for a short period of time. Their wings beat at exceptional speed as they fly around, feasting on mosquitoes and other bugs, displaying the suberb array of colors on their bodies, and landing just once in a while to allow me to enjoy their beauty.

Allow me to share some very interesting facts about our friend, Mr. Dragonfly...

Dragonfly Facts

  • According to fossil records, the dragonfly dates back 300 million years.
  • The largest dragonfly ever recorded from fossil records had a incredible wingspan of about 2.5 feet!
  • The largest dragonfly ever found alive was in Costa Rica, with a wingspan of 7.5 inches.
  • There are about 5,000 different species of dragonflies in the world today
  • Most dragonfly species life in tropical areas
  • No dragonflies have ever been found on the continent of Antarctica.
  • There are about 450 different species of dragonfly in the United States.
  • Dragonflies are great garden companions because they eat any harmful insects such as mosquitoes, gnats, spiders, ants and other pesky bugs.
  • Dragonflies are harmless to humans; they do not bite or sting, in fact they are quite friendly and will happily land on you!
  • Dragonflies fly at approximately 30-60 mph, in a similar fashion to that of a helicopter. They can move up, down, forward, backward and hover, too!
  • The dragonfly’s sight is it’s most significant sense; each eye contains up to 30,000 little lenses.
  • The dragonfly’s natural predator is the bird.

The Dragonfly Life Cycle

The Egg Stage

After mating, the female dragonfly lays eggs in the water, on a suitable plant if she can find one.

The Nymph Stage

After the dragonfly eggs have hatched, the dragonfly larva that emerges (otherwise known as a “dragonfly nymph”) begins it’s journey into developing into a full grown dragonfly. Dragonfly larvae, or nymphs, don’t have any wings at this stage, in fact they seem somewhat alien-like to begin with.

Dragonfly nymphs will grow in the water until they are fully developed into adult dragonflies, a process that can take up to four years. This is the longest period of the dragonfly’s life cycle. Dragonfly nymphs may remain in water or swampy marshes until springtime, when the weather is warmer and they are encouraged to come out and begin their adulthood phase.

The Adult Phase

After four years or so as a nymph, the dragonfly completes it’s metamorphosis stage and emerges out of the water, shedding its skin as it comes up to the air. The shedded skin, otherwise known as exuvia, will usually be shedded onto a plant stem as he approaches the surface.

Now a full grown adult dragonfly, the first mission for the dragonfly is to find food, and another adult dragonfly for a mate. The adult dragonfly will take his mate to a suitable pond or lake where the female dragonfly will be able to lay her own eggs.

Adult dragonflies only live a couple of months and so once they reach adulthood, they are quick to start the life cycle all over again.


Watch this YouTube video to see the different stages of the dragonfly life cycle, in HD:

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Comments 40 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

These creatures seem to be passing through our world on their way to a magical fairyland. They are gorgeous. I saw one just the other day but he wouldn't light long enough for me to snap a picture. Your Hub does them justice and teaches about these fragile little treasures.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Dragonflies remind me of little helicopters when they go flying by! I didn't know they ate other insects. I wish I could capture them and release them to eat the mosquitoes!

Thanks for keeping us informed, Cloverleaf. Great info in an outstanding hub. Voted up, up and away!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

This is such a cute hub! I never knew so much about dragonflies. I have to admit it though, they kind of creep me out a little. They are just so big!


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hello Hyph,

They are so adorable aren't they? We have had a great deal of them in our neck of the woods lately, especially at dusk. I suppose that's when all their yummy bug treats come out...

Thanks for your great comment,

Cloverleaf


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Dexter,

These little guys are so helpful to me, eating all the mosquitoes! With my fair british skin, mosquitoes seem to seek me out and bite all the time. So, more dragonflies I say!

Thanks for your comment and vote :-)

Cloverleaf


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Jeannie,

I am so glad you liked this one. We have had some huge dragonflies around us lately and for some reason they love landing on me! They creeped me out at first but once I started looking at them and realizing that they didn't bite or mean me any harm, I started to appreciate them a lot.

Have a great evening,

Cloverleaf


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Great hub about those beautiful dragon flies.voted up


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

I appreciate the vote up, writer20! Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Cloverleaf


blessingsforlife profile image

blessingsforlife 5 years ago

Cloverleaf, when I was a kid I was really fascinated with dragonflies. As I was reading your hub, I realized that I haven't seen dragonflies for a long time in the our vicinity. You are indeed lucky to have them around.

Vote up and I found it beautiful!


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi blessingsforlife,

You have made my day! Thanks for the vote up :-) It's funny; I didn't notice as many dragonflies around last year.

Cloverleaf.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Lovely creatures, these! Really nice hub, too. Reminds me of being a child in Florida and twirling among swarms of them in the afternoons.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi RTalloni,

I'm happy that my hub brought back some lovely memories for you, they are quite magical creatures aren't they?

Cloverleaf.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

I absolutely love dragonflies. It's a good thing you got to this one before I did. I have a Koi pond that I built several years ago in my back yard. We always have tons of dragonflies circling from ground level all the way to the tops of the trees. They are every color imaginable. I love to take their pictures. In fact, that's how I have my dragonfly collection! Very nice hub! Voted up, interesting, and awesome.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hello Cloverleaf, what a wonderful hub, lot's of fascinating facts on the dragonfly and fabulous photos!

I didn't realise they only live a couple of months and over 5,000 species, it truly is a beautiful creature.

Voting up and beautiful, well done x


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi homesteadbound,

WOW you must have some awesome pictures then. How wonderful to enjoy your Koi pond in your backyard and watch the dragonflies circle around. I can picture you there...!

Cloverleaf.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Movie Master,

I am quite sad that the adult dragonfly has such a short life-span, it seems a shame that their beauty does not last longer. When we sit out on our deck and I have my arm rested on the railing they always stop and land on me...but they never land on Derek! Maybe I'm Doctor Doolittle for Dragonflies?

Cloverleaf.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

Obviously you haven't read my most recent poem, "All These Bugs aren't Good for Me!" But dragonflies are very pretty, all glittery and stuff. I'm just not a "bug person" except the VW bugs, of course. Lol, Susieq


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Any Insect that will eat a Mosquito is a Friend to us Humans...I too must be a delicious treat for I'm always getting bitten. I really enjoyed the Education of your Research on the Dragonfly, Cloverleaf...as well as the Video.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Susie,

Funny you should mention that 'cos I enjoyed reading your bug hub just a few hours ago. I'm generally not a bug person either but the dragonflies seem to like me lol

Cloverleaf.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi b.Malin

"Here, Here!" I say! I too am a tasty snack for mosquitoes and so the dragonfly is great to have around. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, thanks for your great comment!

Cloverleaf.


shimmering Dawn profile image

shimmering Dawn 5 years ago

Wow! this is an interesting and informative hub, crowned with beautiful macro photography!! I enjoyed your hub Cloverleaf and very specially your pictures. Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub!! :) cheers :)


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Shimmering Dawn,

You say the nicest things! Thanks for your great comment, you have made me a very happy lady.

Cloverleaf.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Very nice Hub about a fascinating topic. Voted up!


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hello WillStarr!

How nice of you to say so. Thank you for the vote up :-)

Have a great evening,

Cloverleaf.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

As a kid The dragonfly looked prehistoric and creepy.Now that you have increased my knowledge and understandng of the World Of Dragonfly's I will keep a look out for them and welcome them into the garden.This year I haven't seen one. I wonder why? Great pictures and information.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Dream On,

I think that all the dragonflies you used to see have come my way because we have twice the amount this year! Perhaps I'll send some to visit you. Glad you liked my hub, thanks for coming by to comment. I hope you have a great weekend.

Cloverleaf.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A lovely hub. I didn't realise they didn't have a very long life span, or that some could grow so big.

Have a good weekend


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Rosemay,

Isn't it a shame that they spend so much of their life cycle under the water where we don't even see them? They really are beautiful creatures when they grace us with their presence. Have a great weekend too and thanks for your comment!

Cloverleaf.


september girl 5 years ago

Great hub Cloverleaf! My niece, (who is also my god-daughter) and I love dragonflies. Although if you get the chance to see one up close and personal, they can seem quite intimidating. Their faces do look like an alien in dragon form. : ) Very nice photos and video. Thanks for sharing the interesting and useful info on this unique insect. Voted up and accordingly. ; )


annmackiemiller profile image

annmackiemiller 5 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

they are lovely creatures - thanks for sharing this - I really enjoyed it - voted up and stuff and +1d :0)


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi september girl, they do look quite alien-like - especially the big ones! They are always landing on my arms and looking right at me. That's sweet that your niece enjoys them too. Thanks for your vote up :-)

Hi Ann, I'm happy you enjoyed my hub - thanks for pressing "all" the buttons LOL :-)


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, Cloverleaf, GREAT read. GREAT,I say again. I have never, in my 57 years of breathing, read an article about a dragonfly that made me so happy. Since I was a boy, I have loved these magnificent creatures. Thank you for making me love them even more! Voted UP and all the buttons across the top.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

For the past week all I have been doing is asking people do you know those insects that fly around in the summer the Dragonfly?Have you seen any lately?Did you like them?Do you know they don't bite?I would ask them all kinds of questions.I have dragonflys on the brain.You got me thinking how many other people do know about them but really don't know the real facts.I knew more than everyone so far.You made me feel like a Dragonfly expert.I had so much fun.Thanks for making my day another laugh and more time to play.I just had to watch the videos again.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hello Kenneth,

It's nice to meet you! Thank you for saying so many kind things about my hub, and for pressing all the buttons. I'm glad that I have been able to rekindle some great childhood memories. I'm looking forward to reading many more of your own hubs also.

Cloverleaf.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hello Dream On,

I think maybe we may have started a dragonfly chain reaction of happy thoughts! Glad you're having fun :-)

Cloverleaf.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

My favorite insect by far and I was lucky enough to find a great hub about them. Thank you for facts that will serve me well in the next trivia contest I enter. Fascinating!


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 4 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Bill, aren't they beautiful creatures? I'm so happy that you enjoyed the hub. I'll mail you a quiz ;)


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

Popping into visit, and say hello. Having visited Movie Master a bit, sharing and reminiscing her 100 hubs I was delighted. Now with a grin painted so wide and bouncing about in this world I must say I am proud.

A wonderful hub indeed and such a fantastic subject for sure. Mythical and magical, while odd, yet helpful, these funny creatures adorn alongside the hummingbird. Every garden should have one or two or more.

Thank you for being you and sharing this hub. I'm pondering just where the photographers eye comes from, alas, I do know :)


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 4 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada Author

Hi Tsmog, how nice to see you, thanks for coming by and offering such kind words.

I have just returned from the UK and was by MM's side as she published her 100th hub - how proud can a daughter be? I am blown away by all her achievements.

I'm delighted that you enjoyed my dragonfly hub, but alas I cannot take credit for the photography; it was actually my brother who snapped these beautiful shots. It would seem that the photgraphy gene was passed down, but just not in my direction ;)

Take care and best wishes,

Louise


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

I grin thinking MM just diversified her talents :) or are they blessings of sorts, dun'no. There be a writer it seems and a photographer in the midst. Loving inspiration and the cauldron is brewing a steeping pot of nice tea.

I'm cryptic a bit, the mood it seems, but that smile prompts a poem kinda', I wonder, maybe a dash to make it a duet for the evening

ta-ta and Cheerio, now I know why Google has been using them ads of recent :)

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