Dragonflies: Natural Cargo Planes

Dragonflies are one of the ancient creatures that are survived through the centuries, modifying and adopting themselves to new world. They flew along with dinosaurs back in time and not much noticeable change have been seen on their body except their size which is reduced to few inches from few feet. Damselflies are close relative of dragonfly but are more fragile, small, slender and hard to find. Both dragonfly and damselfly belongs to order Odonata. They generally live along the water bodies near natural vegetation. Dragonflies can travel long distance away from their natural habitat but damselflies doesn’t travel far away from the water bodies. Both of these are natural predator of other small insects, so, they are natural garden allies which also helps in pollination and dispersal of pollen and seeds.

Common Red Dragonfly (Neurothemis terminata)

Dragonflies have six legs, a head, thorax and abdomen. They have strong serrated mandibles to capture and chew small insects as their food. They never bite human unless are roughly handled.

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) eating other insect

Dragonfly have six legs but they doesn’t walk. They are good flier, some species can fly up to 30 miles per hour. They can hover over a single place and can even fly backwards.

Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea): Most common dragonfly

The wing of dragonfly is generally transparent, but different species have different wing colour and some even have spotted wings.

Red spoted dragonfly (Celithemis elisa)

After hatching, the larva or nymphs live in the water for almost a year. After leaving water, they live for only about a month flying.

Ground Skimmer (Diplacodes trivialis)

If a dragonfly land on your head, it is considered as good luck in many countries.

Damselflies are smaller than dragonfly with slender body and transparent wings. They are also natural predator.

Enallagma basidens
Protosticta taipokauensis
Ceriagrion coromandelianum

Dragonflies and damselflies needs to warm up in the sun in the morning before going for a flight. The group of dragonfly is called swarm. Watching them is like bird watching and it is called “Oding” which come from Odonata.

All the images used here are taken by me around my home area. Dragonflies and damselflies are both beneficial insects. And watching them around you is calming and refreshing. So, don’t harm them, if you could help to conserve them ๐Ÿ™‚

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