To listen to this article, please select Control + Shift + Z to launch the pop-up player.

Browser out-of-date!

You are using an out-of-date web browser, to avoid problems when using A-Z Animals and other sites we strongly recommend you upgrade to the latest version of your web browser!
Get Firefox Get Google Chrome Get Opera Get Microsoft Internet Explorer Get Apple Safari
Remove Advertising
A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources A-Z Animals - Animal Facts, Images and Resources

Animals >>


 Add to Phobia Filter  Contribute  Print  Listen
Dragonfly over a jungle stream in Kampung Juara, Pulau Tioman
Dragonfly, Kabil-Sepilok Forest Reserve
Kabil-Sepilok Forest Reserve
Dragonfly, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Dragonfly, Kabil-Sepilok Forest Reserve
The dragonfly is large predatory insect generally found around watery areas in both the North and South Hemispheres. The dragonfly is very similar to a damselfly but the wings on the adults are considerably different.

The dragonfly is found hovering near lakes and swamps as the dragonfly larvae (the nymph/baby) is aquatic. The dragonfly nymph is capable of producing a painful bite for humans, where the adult dragonfly poses no threat.

The dragonfly is best known for its beautiful colours and the way it's body and wings sparkle when the dragonfly is flying around the water.

Dragonflies have long, thin and generally colourful bodies, large eyes and two pairs of transparent wings. As with other species of insect, the dragonfly also has six legs but it is unable to walk on solid ground. In flight the adult dragonfly can propel itself in six directions which are upward, downward, forward, back, and side to side.

Both the dragonfly and it's larvae are carnivorous animals and they feed exclusively on other small animals. The main prey of the dragonfly are mosquitoes, flies, bees and other small invertebrates. The dragonfly larvae feeds mainly on aquatic insects and their eggs.

The dragonfly is preyed upon by a number of predators around the world including birds, fish and reptiles such as lizards. The dragonfly is also commonly eaten by amphibians such as toads, frogs and large newts.

Female dragonflies lay their eggs in or near water, often on floating or emergent plants. The dragonfly eggs then hatch into nymphs. which is how most of the dragonfly's life is spent. The dragonfly nymphs live beneath the water's surface, using extendible jaws to catch other invertebrates or even vertebrates such as tadpoles and fish.

The larval stage of large dragonflies may last as long as five years. In smaller species, this stage may last between two months and three years. When the larva is ready to metamorphose into an adult, it climbs up a reed or other emergent plant. Exposure to air causes the larva to begin breathing. The skin splits at a weak spot behind the head and the adult dragonfly crawls out of its old larval skin, pumps up its wings, and flies off to feed on midges and flies.

Dragonfly Comments (16)


"This website is AWESOME"

andrea camille gumapas

"thaks!it os for my project.thanks for that informations! :)"


"this site had all the information that I needed thanks a lot A-Z animals : )"

Showing 3 of 16 comments.

Show More Comments

Post Comment

Your Name:

Article Rating:

Your Comment:

Dragonfly Translations

Danish Dansk
English English
Spanish Español
Esperanto Esperanto
Finnish Suomi
French Français
Hungarian Magyar
Egyenlőtlen szárnyú szitakötők
Japanese 日本語
Dutch Nederlands
Echte libellen
Polish Polski
Ważki różnoskrzydłe
Portuguese Português
Slovenian Slovenščina
Raznokrili kačji pastirji
Swedish Svenska
Egentliga trollsländor
Chinese 中文

Article Tools

Print Article
View printer friendly version of Dragonfly article.
Listen to Article
Listen to audio version of Dragonfly article. Hot key: CTRL key + Shift key + Z key

Dragonfly Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
2.4-10cm (1-4in)
Number of Species:
The total number of recorded species...
Average Lifespan:6 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Yellow, Black, Orange, Red, White. Brown, Blue
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Mosquitoes
The specific area where the animal lives...
Wetlands and close to water
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Mosquitoes, Fly, Bee
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Birds, Fish, Lizards
Special Features:Long body shape and large, transparent wings

Related Animals

There are an estimated 30 million species!
There are more than 240,000 different species!
There are 2,500 known species worldwide!