Dragonflies: Amazing Little Creatures

I love dragonflies. I could watch and photograph these fascinating little insects for hours. I recently sat in the field and just observed their behavior. I was working on some writing; I needed inspiration for flying fairies. The dragonflies always help me with my creative needs. As I watched them hovering, flying backwards and forward, and swooping all around me, I wrote with great wonder. I decided to do a little research on these flying beauties.

Interesting Facts about Dragonflies

As I glanced through the different fact, I found these to be the most interesting.
Incredible Eyes: The dragonflies’ eyes have around 30,000 individual lenses or ommatidia which give them a rather incredible panoramic view of their surroundings. Each of those lenses provides an image. The brain of the dragonfly will use all of those individual images to make one picture. The eye allows for the entire color spectrum, UV light, and light polarization to be viewed.

Wings: The dragonfly has two sets of wings; each wing can work independently. The extra set allows the dragonfly to slow the movement of the wings down. On an average, the dragon fly will flaps the two sets of wings around 30 beats per second. The independent movement of the wings gives the dragonfly the ability to hover and fly in all directions. The dragonfly also has the ability to change directions instantly which helps if been sought by a predator. And, can reach speeds of up to 36 mph.

Food: A dragonfly eats mosquitoes and flies. I couldn’t figure out why I have seen so many dragonflies this year. Well, the wet weather created an overly abundant breeding ground for mosquitoes. The dragonflies have been enjoying a grand feast.

Species: Currently there are around 5,000 species of dragonflies. All the dragonflies are part of the order Odanata which roughly translates to “toothed one”. The dragonfly can be found almost anywhere in the world where the environment is habitable. A dragonfly cannot live in the Antarctica; the little insects love a more tropical feel. The hot and humid weather here in mid-Michigan right now must seem like paradise to them.

Ancient Creature: The dragonfly has been around for around 250 million years. The largest fossil reports the ancestor relative had a wingspan of around 2 ½ feet. Can you imagine that flying around the back field? Just amazing to consider.

The next time, you view a dragonfly consider how incredible this insect is or picture a fairy and let you imagination run wild.

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