Sunday, May 20, 2012

Facts about dragonflies

My daughter and I went to the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio for a girl scout activity.  I've lived in Columbus for 17 years and never knew we had an Audubon center, much less know anything what an Audubon center is.  In case you've never heard of one, it's a nature oasis where you can take hikes and sit and watch nature happen all around you. They usually have a wetland of some sort and a river nearby.  We were there to explore the many wonders of water.

One of the activities the girls got to do was dip a net into the wetland and see what kind of creatures they pick up.  I love doing this stuff.  I may not touch most creatures, but this, I will find in the bottom scum of the wetlands and be amazed at what lurks below.  Today, we learned some fascinating facts about dragonflies.

1.  Dragonflies are good for our environment.  They mostly eat mosquitoes but will also eat other insects such as bees, butterflies, bloodworms and even small fish.

2.  Dragonflies are not born with wings.  They actually hatch from larvae and live in the water until they complete metamorphosis with wings.  They emerge above water and wait for their wings to dry, then off they go.
both pictures are of dragonfly nymphs.  The left is much younger than the one on the right.

3.  Males have 2 tiny hooks on their rear end.  They use them to hook onto a female to mate.

4.  The female will lay her eggs near the water and that's where the dragonfly nymphs spend most of their lives.

5.  Dragonflies only live for about 2 months as winged insects.

6.  Male dragonflies and nymphs are aggressive.  See the tadpole someone caught at the top?  Someone is pointing to it.  It is actually a lot bigger than the picture shows.  It was the size of a golf ball.  The large dragonfly nymph you saw in the previous picture could eat that tadpole if it really wanted to.

7.  Dragonflies will shed their outer shell as they grow, much like cicadas.

8.  The largest dragonfly fossil ever found showed a wingspan of 3 feet wide.  That's the largest insect our planet has ever seen.

9.  Dragonflies are harmless to humans.  They are curious but won't bite or sting.

10. Dragonflies have 30,000 lenses in each eye and can see in a 360 degree radius.

11.  There are currently about 5,000 species of dragonflies.

12.  Dragonflies have double wings.  One for maneuverability and the other set to actually fly.



  1. There is a nice nature center also out near Reynoldsburg where I used to live. Waving Hi and thanks for notifying me of your blog (AC Message) I took a break from AC too and focused on my blog I'm your newest friend here on Blogspot!

  2. Hey, thanks for letting me know about your blog. I feel like I've lost touch with my old AC friends. I started a blog, too, but I am still learning the ropes. I am trying to figure out how to add you to my reading list. I figured it out once before, but now I forget what I did. My blog is: if you want to check it out. Thanks! Oh, and you would love my's full of tadpoles and frogs. :)

  3. Thanks Jeanne! I appreciate you joining me! I'll be visiting your blog as well!