Most important: Dragonflies and Damselflies will NOT bite you, they are just expert fliers and will skim right by you and make great sounds with their wings!
Dragonflies, which eat insects as adults, are a great control on the mosquito population. A single dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day.
There are more than 5,000 known species of dragonflies, all of which (along with damselflies) belong to the order Odonata, which means “toothed one” in Greek and refers to the dragonfly’s serrated teeth.
In their larval stage, which can last up to two years, dragonflies are aquatic and eat just about anything—tadpoles, mosquitoes, fish, other insect larvae and even each other.
At the end of its larval stage, the dragonfly crawls out of the water, then its exoskeleton cracks open and releases the insect’s abdomen, which had been packed in like a telescope. Its four wings come out, and they dry and harden over the next several hours to days.
Dragonflies are expert fliers. They can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air. If they can’t fly, they’ll starve because they only eat prey they catch while flying.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature. From great and unique places to explore, to learning about new and interesting plant species, to understanding the earth’s cycles. Follow along and discover new and interesting things about the world around you.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.