photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY-NC

Dragonflies are a common sight in summer as they dart over streams, ponds, and lakes looking for mosquitoes or other insects. They have long narrow bodies (1-3 in) with two sets of wings with a 2-3 in wingspan. Large eyes make up most of their head and they can see in every direction except right behind them. They use their legs to grab prey or hold onto plants.

Dragonflies are strong fliers and can fly straight up and down and hover like a helicopter. They can only fly when it's warm, but some species can live for up to a year if they migrate away from the cold.

Dragonflies can be found throughout North America. The eggs are laid in water and hatch into naiads that have gills and stay underwater for 2-3 years.

Dragonflies spread their wings apart when resting. Damselflies are slimmer than Dragonflies and keep their wings together when resting.

Did you know? Dragonflies and Damselflies were on earth more than 200 million years ago, even before the dinosaurs.

See Also: Damselfly, Mayfly