Size, Shape and Colour: Dragonflies have large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, often brightly coloured and have a long slender abdomen. Dragonflies are similar to damselflies, except that the wings of most dragonflies are held away from, and perpendicular to, the body when they are at rest. Even though dragonflies possess 6 legs like any other insect, they are unable to walk. The nymphs are large and stout and can measure up to approximately 60mm in length.
Biology: Dragonflies are normally seen between June and October. The female will lay her eggs during the evening on plants found in the water. The nymphs will then hatch in April or May staying in peaty water. They go through 13 developmental stages over a period of 3 years when the adult appears at the end of spring in the fourth year.
Preferred Foods: Dragonflies are valuable predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, and butterflies.
Habitat: They are usually found around lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands because their larvae, known as “nymphs”, are aquatic. Adult dragonflies are good fliers and may range several miles. They are active during the day, and can be observed hunting and mating. Males of some species are territorial, defending their domain from other males who enter. Nymphs can deliver a painful bite when threatened. The wound should be cleaned thoroughly to prevent water-borne infections.