21 Super Interesting Facts About Dragonflies That You Didn't Know About
21 Super Interesting Facts About Dragonflies That You Didn't Know About

Here is a list of 21 interesting facts about dragonflies ranked from most to least interesting (in my opinion):

  • Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. They had wingspans of up to two feet, which is much larger than modern dragonflies.
  • Dragonflies can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air. They can also move each of their four wings independently, which gives them great maneuverability.
  • Dragonflies catch their insect prey by grabbing it with their feet. They are very efficient hunters, with a success rate of 90 to 95 percent.
  • Dragonflies have excellent vision that encompasses almost every angle except right behind them. Nearly all of their head is eye, and they can see ultraviolet and polarized light.
  • Some dragonflies migrate across continents. Scientists have tracked migratory dragonflies by attaching tiny transmitters to their wings.
  • Dragonfly nymphs live in the water and breathe through their anus. They can also propel themselves by expelling water from their rectum.
  • Some dragonflies can fly up to 60 miles per hour. They are among the fastest flying insects in the world.
  • Hundreds of dragonflies of different species will gather in swarms, either for feeding or migration. Little is known about this behavior, but there is a project that collects reports on swarms to better understand it.
  • Dragonflies are ancient symbols of courage, strength and happiness in some cultures. They are also considered a sign of good luck and prosperity in Japan.
  • Dragonflies thermoregulate their bodies by changing their wing positions. They can also use their wings to reflect or absorb heat.
  • Dragonflies have multiple sex organs and mate in a heart-shaped position. The male transfers sperm from his primary genitalia to his secondary genitalia, which he then uses to inseminate the female after grabbing her by the head.
  • Dragonflies can eat up to hundreds of mosquitoes per day. They also prey on other flying insects such as flies, bees and butterflies.
  • Dragonflies have six legs but cannot walk well. They use their legs mainly for perching and catching prey.
  • Dragonflies communicate with each other through body movements and colors. They can signal aggression, submission or attraction by changing their posture or displaying their markings.
  • Male dragonflies fight for territory and guard their mates from rivals. They often patrol a certain area and chase away intruders.
  • Dragonfly nymphs can take up to five years to develop into adults. During this time, they molt up to 15 times and grow larger with each molt.
  • Dragonflies are among the most colorful insects in the world. They have pigments that produce various colors, as well as structural colors that result from light reflecting off their wings and bodies.
  • Dragonflies have two sets of compound eyes that can see in all directions. Each compound eye has up to 30,000 facets that each detect light and movement.
  • Dragonflies are indicators of environmental health and water quality. They are sensitive to pollution and habitat loss, so their presence or absence can reveal the condition of an ecosystem.
  • Dragonflies can live on every continent except Antarctica. They prefer warm and humid climates, but some species can survive in cold regions as well.
  • Dragonflies belong to the order Odonata, which means “toothed one” in Greek. This refers to their serrated teeth that they use to chew their prey.
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I love to research and am willing to spend hours to dig into every niche and nook to find something that other people have missed. My articles contain those nuggets of information resulting from my many treasure hunts.