Dragonfly: Predator of Beauty, a Most Welcome Insect

Harbingers of summer and eliminator of pests, the beautiful dragonfly has arrived.

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A voracious predator of insects such as mosquitoes and flies, the dragonfly also eats ants, bees and butterflies. Found around lakes, ponds and wetlands where they breed, hatch and hunt, these beautiful insects keep populations of pesky mosquitoes at bay. The humming sound of the dragonfly’s wings is feared by mosquitoes which sense danger and flee. But still, many fall prey to this talented killer of the sky.

Some enterprising people have even created ‘ultrasonic mosquito repeller’ devices. Carried on the person, they emit a high-pitched droning whistle that is supposed to emulate the sound of dragonfly wings and thus, repel mosquitoes. I doubt if they really work. Mine didn’t do much. Nothing beats the real thing, the dragonfly!

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Dragonflies neither bite nor sting. But the juvenile dragonfly babies called “nymphs”, on the other hand, they can deliver a fairly painful bite. They are quite ugly, yes?

The larval stage of some dragonflies can be as short as several months, others, as long as five years! They spend nearly all their lives under water in this nymph form. The nymphs of some species can leave the water for brief periods to hunt for insects upon the land or climb up upon plants that extend out of the water, to search for prey. Some nymphs can even catch and eat tadpoles!

Most species of dragonflies when they leave the water to molt into the adult form, will only live for several months. Seemingly, their life is too short.

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Mystical, magical dragonfly’s wing!

He does not bite nor does he sting.

Ugly from birth but time behold

Their grace and beauty, tenfold!

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Dreaded hunter of the mosquito, a dragonfly reposes! For your death is but part of the cycle of things. You provide life.

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What would a farm pond or stream be without these wonderful insects? So harmless and free, the dragonfly epitomizes the sultry days of summer.

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In Japan, when the dragonfly appears it is a sign that summer is nearly over and it is time to return to school.

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Such beauty in flight is rarely seen. Perfectly designed in form and function. Long reign the dragonfly!

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33 Responses to “Dragonfly: Predator of Beauty, a Most Welcome Insect”
  1. s hayes Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 5:06 am

    Superb article, amazing pictures


  2. Keith Bond Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Great Article, I have always loved to see dragonflies, they make me think of my childhood in the Warwickshire countryside.


  3. C Jordan Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Good pitures and narrative and a short poem thrown in for free. Thats a bargain!


  4. catlord Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 7:27 am

    Yeah, -my poem (yes, that’s mine) started out to be haiku, but I didn’t really follow the true haiku standard. :)

    -thestickman


  5. valli Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Fantastic article and lovely pics.


  6. eddiego65 Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Awesome pics! Cute poem! Informative piece.


  7. lindalulu Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    They are such beautiful creatures.


  8. Will Gray Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Great article and fantastic photos!


  9. jackalina Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I loved the pictures, this article had a bit of everything-well done.


  10. joystick7 Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Nice article!


  11. Joie Schmidt Says...

    On November 13, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    They are absolutely beautiful and I didn’t realize they aren’t dangerous – thanks for sharing!

    Blessings.

    Sincerely,

    -Liane Schmidt.


  12. James DeVere Says...

    On November 14, 2008 at 5:22 am

    FRee, yes, that’s the word. Free…………………….


  13. ranjitrgeorge Says...

    On November 14, 2008 at 6:22 am

    very good article with very nice and beautiful pics!!! Keep it up!!


  14. Brian James Says...

    On November 14, 2008 at 10:00 am

    I’ve always liked dragonflies, and yet been a little afraid of them as well.


  15. shaun simpson Says...

    On November 15, 2008 at 8:52 am

    really great article, the picture are fantastic.


  16. Doby00 Says...

    On November 15, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Beatifull, never knew dragonflyes where so beatifull.
    Thanks for sharing


  17. cabin dragonfly 178 Says...

    On December 5, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Lovely poem and beautiful photographs.
    After my “short” workvisit and “captivity” at the pool in Hyderabad
    I was just feeling and thinking along the same lines :-) :-):-)


  18. J.A.C. Says...

    On May 20, 2009 at 6:22 am

    I like those pictures! How did you get those pictures?
    Can I use the pictures for a project? PLEASE send a message to let me know!
    Thank you,

    J.A.C.


  19. catlord Says...

    On May 20, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Pictures are sourced via Flickr.com. You have to examine the author’s use statement, ensure that it is “Creative Commons” and permitted for commercial use.
    Notice that each image has a “Image Source” link below it?

    Google “Creative Commons” and learn what it means.

    :-)


  20. W.L.C. Says...

    On May 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    you’re very cool. I like all the pictures too.


  21. A.C. Says...

    On May 23, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Hello,
    How many eggs does a dragonfly lay at one time?
    How many different species of dragonfly are there?

    Thank you,

    A.C.


  22. J.A.C. Says...

    On May 23, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Hello,
    Well first of all thank you for sending a message. How many legs
    does a dragonfly have? Just wanted to know.

    Thank you,

    J.A.C.


  23. catlord Says...

    On May 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    # of legs? # specie? # of eggs? -You have a computer, -try “Google” :-)


  24. Gregory Says...

    On July 7, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    After observing 40 to 50 dragonflys swarming my back yard it was good to know their value to humans (me) in the first search.


  25. Theresa Johnson Says...

    On July 24, 2009 at 6:48 am

    great piece


  26. Darla Beck Says...

    On July 24, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Very interesting article and pics.


  27. soulsketcher Says...

    On July 28, 2009 at 7:44 am

    thought i would share this with you. this is true, not my imagination.
    I sit outside on sunny weekends in my yard and there are always dragonflies flying around. About a year ago i was outside with my storage room open, my dog was running around looking for lizards, (i try to tell him not to bother them, but he loves chasing them), when I noticed that a dragonfly would follow me around the yard wherever I went and would always perch on an object near me as though it was watching me. I got the sense that it wanted to playor communicate or something, so I sat down on the ramp to my storage room and started to mimic the head movements of the dragonfly. When it would nod up and down, I would also, and when it would move it’s head sideways so would I. then I would hold my arms out with a finger extended and focus my attention and thoughts on the dragonfly landing on my finger of one hand. I would cajole the dragonfly by speaking to it and by motioning to it. It took about 30 minutes, but believe it or not, the dragonfly flew off of it’s perch and landed on my finger. Then I extended the finger from my other hand and vocally and mentally urged it to land on the other finger. Within 30 seconds it flew up
    and landed on my other finger. Then I raised my original finger and it flew back.
    (I know this sounds strange, but it really happened.) I did it again a few months later. It takes time and patience and focus. (also, i did this with dragonflies that seemed interested because they follow me all around my yard.)
    i am going to try and video the next encounter, but my camera doesn\’t have enough memory. or i will try to get someone to film me. (if i can convince them to not think i am nuts).
    try it yourself the next time you are in the same situation. watch for dragonflies that seem to follow you wherever you go and land close to you. It does take some patience, but i assure you they will play with you.

    -soulsketcher@yahoo.com


  28. Craig Alberius Says...

    On August 6, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I seem to have a great many more dragonflies in my yard this summer. They also follow me around my yard and even when I ride my mower. It is good to know they eat mosquitoes because I have plenty of them.


  29. Iq Says...

    On August 22, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Very nice piece and a beautiful poem. if only all insects and germs were as beneficial…


  30. YNGLDY19 Says...

    On September 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    The day of my Grandfathers funeral was very sad. But later that day at his house our family sat outside the big oak tree in his backyard and there were so many beautiful dragonflies around us and it just made me smile because I knew my grandpa was in a better place. He died of cancer in July. This morning a dragonfly landed on my hand and it kinda scared me when I realized it landed but then I realized I shouldn’t be afraid. It was a kind reminder of the beautiful happy man I knew as Grandpa. I miss him so much.


  31. Ramesh Says...

    On November 4, 2010 at 2:25 am

    informative.


  32. Heather Says...

    On September 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I loved it! But they do bite if big enough. When I’ve held small ones they did nothing but when this huge one was in my friend’s car and I picked him up to get him out he bit me real hard.


  33. catlord Says...

    On September 7, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Thank you Heather. :-) Yes, -I suppose that adult dragonflies could/might/do actually bite, even though the scientific community seems to say otherwise. Heck, houseflies can bite!! I have had super hungry houseflies (such as flies that have been trapped in a closed room for a few weeks…) actually draw blood on me from their bite!

    I was bitten once by a dragonfly nymph. Scared the heck outta me, -was just a kid and had no idea that something that small (& ugly no less) could actually chomp down on a finger! :-\


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