Year of 2017

Mosquito Slayer
Dragonfly in East Flanders, Belgium

Is this a dragonfly or a damselfly? One easy-to-spot difference between the two insects is the position of the wings. Dragonflies, like the one in this photo, usually hold their wings perpendicular to their bodies while at rest. Damselflies’ wings, when not in motion, fold back along the long thorax portion of their bodies. There are exceptions to this rule, as is often the case in nature, but think of how smart you’ll sound this summer when you share that fact with everyone else down at the lakeshore.

A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, infraorder Anisoptera. Adult dragonflies are characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, sometimes with coloured patches and an elongated body. Dragonflies can be mistaken for the related group, damselflies, which are similar in structure, though usually lighter in build; however, the wings of most dragonflies are held flat and away from the body, while damselflies hold the wings folded at rest, along or above the abdomen. Dragonflies are agile fliers, while damselflies have a weaker, fluttery flight. Many dragonflies have brilliant iridescent or metallic colours produced by structural coloration, making them conspicuous in flight. An adult dragonfly’s compound eye has nearly 24,000 ommatidia.
Scientific name: Anisoptera
Biological classification: Infraorder
Consists of: Libellulidae · Aeshnidae · Gomphidae · Petaluridae · Austropetaliidae · Cordulegastridae · Macromiidae · Chlorogomphidae · Synthemistidae
Belongs to: Epiprocta