Interesting Facts About Dragonflies
Dragonflies are a sure sign summer is on the way. They’ve been a symbol of the season for over 300 million years! Over that time, they’ve had a lot of practice at this whole hunting thing. They were one of the first insects to fly our skies, and they’re a shining example of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They can do things very few other insects can do, like hover or fly completely backwards. If you’re a fan of these creatures – Or, even if you’re not – You should read this article. We’ll bet you learn at least one thing. Who knows, you might even develop a new appreciation for these aerial hunters. Here are five quick facts about dragonflies to start your day.
1) Dragonflies are Masters of Flight
It’s one thing to be able to fly. Even dinky little aphids can fly. It’s another thing to be able to fly like a dragonfly. Dragonflies (and their daintier relatives, damselflies) have two sets of wings. Each wing has its own muscles, allowing the insect to move in any direction freely. In fact, they’re such successful fliers they have the world’s longest insect migration. The globe skimmer dragonfly travels 11,000 miles across the ocean to breed!
2) They Spend Years Underwater
Dragonflies live the majority of their life underwater. As an adult, they usually only live between one to eight weeks. As a nymph, they’re apex predators for their size. They can live underwater for up to six years, and they’re incredibly effective hunters. They can take down other insects, tadpoles, and even fish!
3) Dragonflies are Better Hunters than Lions
A study conducted at the University of Harvard measured how often predatory animals launch an attack that ends in a kill. The finding was that dragonflies were the most effective of all predators at catching their prey. When a prey item was released into the dragonfly’s enclosure, it would grab the prey with its legs and eat it 97% of the time. By comparison, lions only catch their prey about half the time!
4) The dragonfly has some of the widest fields of vision of any animal
Dragonfly eyes are seriously insane. They take up most of the dragonfly’s head, and allow it to see in every angle at once – Except for directly behind it. It would be a bit like if you could look at your shoes and the ceiling at the same time, or look both ways to cross the street without turning your head!
5) Final Facts About Dragonflies – They Are Totally Harmless
There are some persistent rumors that dragonflies have stingers, alarming people who pick them up. They have claspers at the end of their tails, but they can’t inflict any sort of pain on a human. Not that you should be picking them up or bothering them in any way, mind you. Not only are they completely harmless, they’re extremely beneficial. A single adult dragonfly can eat hundreds of mosquitoes per day!
What did you think? You can visit our website for more insect facts if you enjoyed this article. The next time you see a dragonfly, consider admiring it from afar. It won’t bother you, and it’ll happily eat the flying pests in your area.