The Dragonfly.  It is one of the largest insects you'll see around.  Most people avoid them for fear of their biting or stinging abilities. Still, their helicopter-like flight makes us pause in amazement when they hover over ponds or in our gardens. It's just that they look like they could do some damage. In Newfoundland we've dubbed them with names such as horse stinger and devil's darning needle - the latter more common in areas settled by the Irish.  My boyhood logic told me to avoid anything which could sting a horse! 

In reality, they are not harmful at all.  Dragonflies do not sting.  Also, despite having large jaws they are unlikely to bite - only when handled.  Even then the most a Dragonfly could muster is a good pinch.  Dragonflies are very beneficial to humans in that they feed on other insects - such as mosquitos and black flies, which they catch in flight.

Adults tend to live near water but are very strong fliers and range several miles each day.  Eggs are laid in water or on aquatic vegetation.  In late June and early July look in still water or streams for nymphs (pre-adult). They are often visible walking along the bottom.

Pause in wonder the next time a Dragonfly hovers next to you. They are nature's awesome insect flier!

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Comment by For the Love of Nature on January 14, 2011 at 4:11pm

Thanks for commenting Marghnaita and Todd! 

Marghnaita, I had no idea about that some dragonflies travel that far.  Love to see your art!

Todd,  our own childhood experiences and perceptions are so valuable as we engage with children.  Though many miles apart the dragonfly experience is consistent.


Comment by Todd Embree on January 14, 2011 at 9:44am
I too remember both delighting and fearing a dragon fly landing on my bare arm as a child. Now that I now the hazard was only perceived it is pure delight when dragon flies land on me.
Comment by Marghanita Hughes on January 13, 2011 at 12:11pm

I couldn't agree more - Dragonflies are MAGICAL. They are a constant inspiration for me and my art. Thank you for sharing such a lovely post . Did you know about the Dragonflies amazing journey:

Wishing you a beautiful day, Marghnaita

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