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WHAT IS THE DRAGONFLY?


Most dragonflies are skinny, have large wings and are brilliantly colored. Dragonflies are the most skilled fliers in the insect world they're also among the most ancient. The largest of the ancient Dragonflies had a wingspan of 75 cm or 2 1/2 feet. Dragonflies have two life stages. The first life stage is the aquatic life stage, or larval form, and most of a dragonflies lifespan is spent in this form.



As in its adult lifestage, the dragonfly is also predatory in it's aquatic lifestage. It eats other bugs and maybe an immature fish fry. But don't worry, they won't bite humans their mouthparts are too small. As a group, they are probably the most recognized insects behind butterflies. For this reason dragonflies are known by many common names, some of the more interesting ones include: mosquito hawks, devils darning needles, snake doctors, snake-tails, biddies, club-tails, darners, skimmers and emeralds.














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There are approximately 650 known from North America and 5,500 world wide. Because of their diverse nature, dragonflies occupy a wide range of habitats, and display a wide range of sensitivities. Several dragonflies, due to their requirements for very sensitive, limited habitats, are either in decline, threatened or on the endangered species list. Some are already extinct. Adult dragonflies, although large and maybe a bit scary, are very helpful to those who don't like mosquitos and biting flies. That's what adult dragonflies eat, hence the name "mosquito hawk."

 

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