Dragonfly Facts



  • Dragonflies are big hunting insects with four large transparent wings, and a long slender body that may be a shimmering red, green or blue.
  • Dragonflies have 30,000 separate lenses in each of their compound eyes, giving them the sharpest vision of any insect.
  • A dragonfly can see something that is stationary from almost 2 m away, and something moving two to three times farther away.
  • As it swoops in on its prey, a dragonfly pulls its legs forwards like a basket to scoop up its victim.
  • Dragonflies often mate in mid-air, and the male may then stay hanging on to the female until she lays her eggs.
  • Dragonfly eggs are laid in water or in the stem of a water plant, and hatch in 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Newly-hatched dragonflies are called nymphs and look like fatter, wingless adults.
  • Dragonfly nymphs are ferocious hunters, often feeding on young fish and tadpoles.
  • Dragonfly nymphs grow and moult over a period of several years before they climb on to a reed or rock to emerge as an adult.
  • Dragonflies can reach speeds of almost 100 km/h to escape from predators like birds.