ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Difference Between The Damselfly & Dragonfly

Updated on September 15, 2018
Dragonflies or damselflies? from commons.wikimedia.org
Dragonflies or damselflies? from commons.wikimedia.org | Source
Source

Damselfly Vs Dragonfly

Damselflies and dragonflies belong to the order Odonata, and in that particular order, there are over 5,000 species and around 30 family groups. The damselflies are represented in the order Odonata by a selection of families, especially from the Calopterygidae to the Pseudostigmatidae. For the dragonflies, their family group follows from the Aeshnidae to the Libellulidae. Sometimes these scientific words are so awkward to pronounce, but checking it up on an online dictionary may guide you to the syllables to pronounce it correctly.

In general, the head of these insects has biting mouth parts, their antennae is short, and they have large bulging eyes. The damselflies head is broad, and their eyes are widely spaced out, whereas the dragonflies have rounded heads and eyes that are not spaced out widely like the damselflies. The wings of both these insects which they possess are more or less identical, whereas the hind-wings of dragonflies are broader than the fore-wings. When the damselflies are resting, they fold their wings, and the dragonflies tend to hold them outstretched. Another feature of the damselflies is they sit and wait for their prey most of the time, and on the other hand the dragonflies usually hunt their prey in flight.

The males of both these insects can curl their abdomen to transfer sperm from the opening of their genitals on the ninth abdominal segment, and to a storage organ in the second or third abdominal segment. When they're mating, the males may remove sperm from matings in the past. Their eggs are found in water or on aquatic plants where they lay them. Metamorphosis is not complete. The aquatic nymphs are predacious and have a hinged labium that can be shot forward to grab prey.

Rubyspot Damselfly (Hetaerina cruentata)

commons.wikimedia.org
commons.wikimedia.org | Source

The Broad-Winged Damselflies

The picture above is of a rubyspot damselfly taken in Costa Rica. There are over a hundred different species like this and they belong to the family Calopterygidae. These relatively large damselflies possess wings that narrow gradually and they look to be unstalked. The wings may be dark and in the male species, they can have bright red marks at the bases or visible dark marks somewhere else in the body. The pterostigma (distinctive and dark pigmented spot at the front edge of the wings) is small or may be absent altogether. Their wingspan ranges from 5-8 centimetres and their body length is typically around 4-5 millimetres, but the females length is shorter than the males.

These species lay their eggs inside the tissues of various plants of the aquatic type. A single female damselfly of the broad-winged type may lay up to 300 eggs, and she may get in the water fully to lay those eggs. In fast-flowing water, the nymphs can hunt for prey. Besides the rubyspot damselfly, these broad-winged species of many types can be found all over the world, especially in the hot regions, but it's very rare in Australia. They can mainly be seen in fast and slow flowing rivers and streams, and sometimes around canals. Some broad-winged adult species may hunt some distance from the waters and instead prefer the wooded areas, but it depends on the region they are in.

Club-tailed Dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus)

Photo from commons.wikimedia.org and the main source is http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/177667
Photo from commons.wikimedia.org and the main source is http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/177667 | Source

Club-tailed dragonflies

The club-tailed dragonfly above (Gomphus vulgatissimus) is also known as the European Club-tailed Dragonfly.This type is mostly found in the northern and central parts of Europe, especially in Britain. There are over 900 different species of them and they all belong to the family Gomphidae.The common name of these relatively large dragonflies refers to the bizarre and unusual shaped abdomen of the male species, and sometimes of the females too. The abdomen is swollen just before its apex, which gives it the club-like appearance.They have a wingspan of 50-64 millimetres and a length between 50-80 millimetrss, but it depends on the type of specie. Club-tailed dragonflies have widely separated eyes, and most species are brightly coloured in differing combinations of black, yellow and green.

The mating takes place among vegetation. Their eggs are laid in shallow water, with the female lashing the surface with the end of the abdomen in order to release the eggs. The nymphs live at the bottom, and crawling and burrowing to seze their prey. Besides Europe, the club-tailed dragonflies are found worldwide. They are usually in ponds, rivers, lakes and streams.

Damselfly

Other types of common species

There are thousands of damselflies and dragonflies around the world in the order Odonata. The most common and popular ones are listed below:

  • Narrow-Winged Damselflies - Family of the Coenagrionidae
  • Stalk-Winged Damselflies - Family of the Lestidae
  • Giant Damselflies - Family of the Pseudostigmatidae
  • Darners (dragonflies) - Family of the Aeshnidae
  • Biddies (dragonflies) - Family of the Cordulegastridae
  • Green-Eyed Skimmers (dragonflies)- Family of the Corduliidae
  • Common Skimmers (dragonflies) - Family of the Libellulidae

Dragonfly

Damselfly or Dragonfly?

Do you like the damselfly or the dragonfly?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 

      8 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      I remember when the temperature was elevated in the summer here (over 100 F) I saw swarms of dragonflies from time to time, and it was like they were following me in my automobile. I do not like flying insects like that. The damselflies and dragonflies are interesting creatures though.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)