Is this happening to anybody else besides me? At about dusk every night there are about 30ish dragonflies in my backyard. The Trouble Maker goes a little crazy trying to chase them.
This is what I fee like is going on, but I was thinking this morning that there wasn’t any. Because this happens almost every night, I decided to research. I found this cool website that researches swarms.
- There are two types of dragonfly swarms, static feeding swarms (dragonflies congregate in a small area, usually where there are lots of bugs to eat) and migratory swarms (massive numbers of dragonflies migrate to overwintering sites many miles away).
- Dragonfly swarms are short-lived events. You have to be in the right place at the right time to see them.
A bee flaps its wings about 300 times per second, but a dragonfly flaps its wings at only about 30 beats per second. (fact, dragonflies have two sets of wings so they don’t have to beat them as much to fly.)
A dragonfly is a very strong and good flyer, and can fly at speeds of up to 36 miles per hour. (fact, but not all dragonflies are that fast – one was clocked at this speed in Australia.
There were huge dinosaur dragonflies that lived 300 million years ago. (fact – the largest fossil found had a 2 ½ foot wingspan, and currently there are dragonflies in Costa Rica that measure 7 ½ inches across the wings.)
Dragonflies have huge stingers and some people are allergic to their stings and can die. (myth – the thing that looks like a stinger on a dragonfly is actually called a clasper and the male dragonfly uses it to hold onto the female when they are mating.)
There are about 5,000 different species of dragonflies all over the world except in Antarctica. 450 of the species can be found in the United States and about 80 species in British Columbia. (fact, most of the 5,000 species are found in remote, tropical areas.)
A dragonfly’s eyes have about 30,000 lenses and a dragonfly can see all the way around it, but they don’t see details very well. (fact, a human eye only has one lens and sees better than a dragonfly, but only to the front and side of them.)
From the time a dragonfly egg hatches, it can live anywhere from six months to six years, but only about two months as an actual dragonfly. (fact, most of the time spent is as a nymph in the water before the dragonfly’s metamorphosis into a full grown dragonfly.)
- A dragonfly’s scientific name is Odonta, which comes from the words “tooth-jawed” because the entomologist (insect scientist), Johann Christian Fabricius, who named them studied the dragonflies’ mouths in order to distinguish the different species. Now their wings are studied as well to classify dragonflies. (fact – other names for dragonflies around the world are water dipper in England, old glassy in China, and the ancient Celts called dragonflies big needle of wings.)
- Do Dragonflies Bite? Dragonflies are voracious eaters and they eat just about any animal they can catch and chew. But if you ask “Do Dragonflies bite humans?” then again the answer is Yes, only if you catch one and hold it carelessly in your hand in such a way that its mouth touches your skin. Most of them are not even capable of breaking the skin, though some of the bigger and stronger ones can do so and inflict some pain. They are not at all poisonous.
I just looked up this dragonfly website and wikipedia. Good to know they don’t bite like everyone thinks.
Look at the red one! I can see why people are so fascinated with them.