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
Most widely used name for this species
The name of the animal in science
The place where something is found
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|Number Of Species:|
The total number of recorded species
The average time the animal lives for
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Yellow, Black, Orange, Red, White. Brown, Blue|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Wetlands and close to water|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Mosquitoes, Fly, Bee|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Birds, Fish, Lizards|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long body shape and large, transparent wings|
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 its 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 feed 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 extendable 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.
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First Published: 13th November 2008, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Nov 2008]