Dragonfly Facts
Dragonfly Facts

30 Dazzling Dragonfly Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published February 27, 2019Updated October 4, 2019
  • While modern dragonflies have wingspans of between 2–5 inches (5 cm-12 cm), fossils of dragonflies show that they had wingspans of up to 2 feet.[1]
  • By placing dragonfly larvae in special chambers that mimic the Earth's oxygen levels from 300 million years ago, scientists have grown super-sized dragonflies that are 15% larger than normal.[1]
  • There are over 5,000 species of dragonflies. They all belong to the order Odonata, which means "toothed one" in Greek.[1]
  • Dragonfly larvae eat just about anything, including tadpoles, fish, mosquitoes, and even each other.[1]
  • Dragonfly Symbolism Facts
    Would you let one land on your head?
  • In many cultures, it is considered good luck if a dragonfly lands on your head.[1]
  • Dragonflies can eat while they are flying.[1]
  • The flight of the dragonfly is so efficient that it has inspired scientists to make robots that fly like these amazing insects.[1]
  • Some species of dragonfly live only a few weeks, while others can live up to a year.[3]
  • Dragonflies likely see better than humans. They can even see ultraviolet light.[2]
  • A single dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day, making them natural mosquito control.[3]
  • Dragonflies are expert fliers. They can hover like a helicopter, fly straight up and down, and even mate in midair.[1]
  • “Despite its dark veins, the transparency of dragonfly’s wings assures me of a pure, innocent world”

    - Munia Khan

  • The globe skimmer dragonfly can fly across oceans—nonstop. The 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) insect logs 11,000 miles (17,700 km), giving them the title of the world's longest insect fliers—able to fly for longer periods of time than any other insect on Earth, including the monarch butterfly.[4]
  • Dragonflies are such efficient hunters that they have a 95% success rate in killing their prey.[3]
  • Dragonflies were among the first winged insects to evolve, taking flight over 300 million years ago.[1]
  • Beautiful Dragonfly Facts
    Dragonflies have bejeweled the skies for 300 million years; let's keep them around for 300 million more

  • While dragonflies can rip their prey to shreds mid flight with their sharp teeth, luckily, dragonflies can't bite humans. Most dragonfly species don't have a mandible strong enough to break human skin.[1]
  • Dragonflies have two sets of wings that can work independently.[1]
  • Dragonfly Wings
    The veins in a dragonfly's wings not only provide structural support but  also prevent cracks and tears from spreading throughout the wings

  • Dragonflies are both agile and fast fliers, flying between 17 and 38 miles (27 km-61 km) per hour.[1]
  • Depending on the altitude and latitude, some dragonfly species can remain in a larval state for up to six years.[1]
  • While most insects cannot live in the ocean, some dragonfly species, such as the seaside dragonlet, produce offspring in water several times saltier than the ocean.[1]
  • Dragonfly Nymph
    An anus that can both breathe and propel
  • The dragonfly nymph breathes through its anus. Additionally, when the dragonfly expels water from its anus, it is propelled forward, which helps the nymph move around.[1]
  • There are several dragonflies in the genus Agriocnemis that take the title of the smallest dragonfly. They have a wingspan of just 17–18 mm or 7/10 of an inch.[3]
  • Dragonflies beat their wings about 30 times per second. By comparison, bees beat their wings about 300 times per second.[1]
  • Because dragonfly eyes have about 30,000 lenses, it can see nearly 360 degrees.[2]
  • The largest currently living dragonfly is Petalura ingentissima from Australia, with a wingspan up to 16 cm (6.2 inches).[1]
  • Dragonflies will rapidly flap their wings to warm up their bodies. Some dragonflies even use their wings as reflectors, tilting them to direct solar radiation to their bodies.[1]
  • A dragonfly can open its mouth as wide as its entire head.[1]
  • In Indonesia, dragonflies are considered to be a delicious snack.[1]
  • Dragonflies are not related to flies.[1]
  • Because a male dragonfly stores its sperm in a separate place than its copulatory organ, it must transfer its sperm to its penis each time it mates.[1]
  • Even though dragonflies have six legs, like all insects do, they cannot walk.[3]
  • Enchanting Dragonfly Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Amazing Dragonfly Facts

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