Bug of Week 14: Dragonfly
Dragonflies and their close relatives damselflies are recognizable by their narrow, elongated abdomen, and two sets of equal sized wings attached to their thorax. Dragonflies are strong fliers and can be found in many colors including green and blue. They don't sting or bite, and in some cultures it's considered good luck when one lands on your head!
Please be gentle and respectful to all animals and insects.
Species: Odonata anisoptera
HABITAT (WHERE THEY LIVE): Dragonflies are most often spotted near rivers and ponds. They can be found in fields and forests, but must return to fresh water to mate and lay their eggs.
NUTRITION (WHAT THEY EAT): Mosquitos, gnats, cicadas, flies, and smaller dragonflies.
PREDATORS (WHO EATS THEM): Fish, ducks, birds, and water beetles.
LIFE CYCLE: Females lay their eggs in bodies of fresh water or in nearby plant tissue. The eggs hatch into an aquatic larva called a nymph. Dragonfly nymphs feed on tadpoles and small water invertebrates. The nymphs eventually emerge from the water and hatch out of their exoskeleton as an adult dragonfly. You may find dragonfly exoskeletons, also called exuviae, if you look closely at plant vegetation in marshy areas.