the best science on the web about
damselflies & dragonflies

Damselflies and Dragonflies
Image: iStockphoto.com/CathyKeifer

Damselflies and Dragonflies

Belonging to an ancient insect order (Odonata), damselflies and dragonflies arose some 300 million years ago, predating dinosaurs. They are total predators, even in their larval stage.

The two insect groups are similar, but display differences such as eye placement and wing structure. You’ll find them in freshwater habitats: lakes and ponds, riverbanks, and wetlands.

BBC
Loading...
Why Giant Bugs Once Roamed the Earth

Why Giant Bugs Once Roamed the Earth

Prehistoric dragonflies were as large as large seagulls, but not for the reasons once suspected. Find out why these insects and their larvae became supersized. More...

Article
National Geographic
Dragonflies in Flight

Dragonflies in Flight

Dragonflies can clock more than 30 miles an hour, making in-flight photos a difficult task. Check out great images of many species, then scroll down for more fabulous photo galleries. More...

Images
Glenn Corbiere
Dragonflies: The Flying Aces of the Insect World

Dragonflies: The Flying Aces of the Insect World

These dragonflies go to Harvard! In a specially designed lab, a research team films their every move, homing in on flight and feeding behaviors. More...

Video
National Science Foundation
Dragonfly Flight Unlike Rigid Man-Made Wings

Dragonfly Flight Unlike Rigid Man-Made Wings

In terms of flight, dragonflies are not airplanes — their wings obtain lift in different ways. Discover the difference in this short video. More...

Video
It's Okay to Be Smart/PBS
How to Tell the Difference Between Dragonflies and Damselflies

How to Tell the Difference Between Dragonflies and Damselflies

Dragonflies and damselflies — they often flit by in the blink of an eye, making it difficult to tell which is which. Here, a handy chart lays out the important differences. More...

Article
About.com
The Blue Damselfly

The Blue Damselfly

Watch how a male blue damselfly shows off for the ladies with a flashy display of his handsome wings. After mating, he points out a safe place to lay the eggs. More...

Video
BBC
The Dragonfly Swarm Project

The Dragonfly Swarm Project

It’s rare to see dragonflies swarm, so insect scientists know little about this behavior. But citizen scientists are cracking the mystery. Find out how to join them. More...

Activity
The Dragonfly Woman
Tiny Backpacks Tap into Dragonflies’ Brains

Tiny Backpacks Tap into Dragonflies’ Brains

Dragonflies as scientific guinea pigs? Researchers attach backpacks with tiny sensors to the neurons of dragonflies to find out how they solve complex behavioral problems. More...

Video
National Geographic
Watch Festo’s Robotic Dragonfly Take Flight

Watch Festo’s Robotic Dragonfly Take Flight

German robotics company Festo unveiled a lightweight robotic dragonfly that can move forward and back, up and down — and even hover and glide without moving its wings. More...

Video
The Washington Post

You Also Might Like

  1. leeches

    leeches

  2. cobras & coral snakes

    cobras & coral snakes

  3. insects

    insects

  4. lemurs

    lemurs

  5. hogs & pigs

    hogs & pigs