A Picture of a Dragonfly

Dragonfly Facts

  • Common Name: Dragonfly
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Odonata
  • Superorder: Epiprocta
  • Infraorder: Anisoptera

17 Dragonfly Facts for Kids

  1. Dragonflies are a flying insect, with a wide variety of vivid colors.
  2. A dragonfly can easily be identified by its long body, transparent wings and large compound eyes.
  3. It’s estimated there are around 3,000 living species of dragonflies worldwide.
  4. Dragonflies are carnivorous, and they eat a wide range of different insects.
  5. Dragonflies can capture their prey in mid-air.
  6. Dragonflies love to eat mosquitoes and some species can eat up to and over 100 mosquitoes every day.
  7. According to Harvard University, dragonflies are one of the most effective hunters among insects. It’s estimated that a dragonfly can catch up to 95% of the prey they attempt to capture.
  8. Dragonflies have amazing eyesight. Their two large compound eyes give them nearly 360 degree vision, and it’s estimated they used around 80% of their brain to process visual information.
  9. Dragonflies are expert fliers, with the ability to fly in every direction and even hover like a helicopter.
  10. Large species of dragonflies can reach maximum flight speeds between 22 and 34 miles per hour.
  11. The average cruising speed of a large dragonfly species is around 9.9 miles per hour.
  12. Dragonflies have a three stage lifecycle. They start out as an egg, hatch into a nymph (larva), then molt and become an adult dragonfly.
  13. A dragonfly will spend much of its life as a nymph (larva) in the water.
  14. Female dragonflies can lay up to 1,500 eggs at one time.
  15. Male dragonflies are territorial and defend their territory aggressively.
  16. Dragonflies are sometimes confused with damselflies. The easiest way to tell the two apart is by looking at their wings. A dragonfly’s wings are flat and extended out from their bodies. A damselfly’s wings will fold when it’s resting, above or along their body.
  17. Dragonflies ancestors first appeared over 300 million years ago. It’s estimated that one extinct species (Meganeura monyi) would have had a 30 inch wingspan.

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