- Common Name: Dragonfly
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Odonata
- Superorder: Epiprocta
- Infraorder: Anisoptera
17 Dragonfly Facts for Kids
- Dragonflies are a flying insect, with a wide variety of vivid colors.
- A dragonfly can easily be identified by its long body, transparent wings and large compound eyes.
- It’s estimated there are around 3,000 living species of dragonflies worldwide.
- Dragonflies are carnivorous, and they eat a wide range of different insects.
- Dragonflies can capture their prey in mid-air.
- Dragonflies love to eat mosquitoes and some species can eat up to and over 100 mosquitoes every day.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dragonflies are expert fliers, with the ability to fly in every direction and even hover like a helicopter.
- Large species of dragonflies can reach maximum flight speeds between 22 and 34 miles per hour.
- The average cruising speed of a large dragonfly species is around 9.9 miles per hour.
- Dragonflies have a three stage lifecycle. They start out as an egg, hatch into a nymph (larva), then molt and become an adult dragonfly.
- A dragonfly will spend much of its life as a nymph (larva) in the water.
- Female dragonflies can lay up to 1,500 eggs at one time.
- Male dragonflies are territorial and defend their territory aggressively.
- 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.
- 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.
A photo of a ruddy darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) dragonfly.
A photo of a blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) dragonfly.
A photo of a golden-ringed dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) dragonfly.
Resources for more Facts About Dragonflies
- Dragonflies and Damselfies Indentification Guide – An excellent guide to help you indentify different species of dragonflies and damselfies.
- Dragonfly Fun Facts – Explore more awesome facts about dragonflies on the Smithsonian website.
- Dragonfly – Wikipedia – Discover more dragonfly facts and information on the Wikipedia website.