Of all the flying insects, dragonflies just might be the most charming. They don’t sting or bite. They don’t carry diseases or germs. And they have bright colors and an amazing way of flying. Dragonflies live in most parts of the world, but they prefer to live near ponds or streams.
Dragonflies and their smaller cousins, damselflies, spend most of their life as larva, or baby dragonflies. They hatch from eggs under water and feed on water insects, tiny fish and even tadpoles. They can stay in the larval stage for up to two years, depending on the species. Then they leave the water and come ashore. Their hard exoskeleton cracks and their abdomen, or bottom part, expands. Their wings harden and they become adults. Unfortunately, most adult dragonflies live only a few weeks.
Fun Facts About Dragonflies for Kids
- There are over 3,600 kinds of dragonflies on the planet.
- Dragonflies have sharp teeth. They are fierce hunters. Some dragonflies float over the water like hawks looking for prey. Others dart about grabbing prey quickly. Dragonflies catch insects with their feet. They are expert hunters.
- A dragonfly can eat hundreds of mosquitoes in a single day.
- Dragonflies can fly straight up and down and side to side.
- Charming: pleasing
- Germs: bacteria or viruses that can make us sick
- Tadpole: baby frog or toad
- Larva: baby insect
- Abdomen: bottom part of an insect
- Exoskeleton: hard shell or skeleton on the outside of the body
Learn More All About Dragonflies
Watch this amazing video about a dragonfly evolving:
A video of the evolution of a dragonfly.
Question: Do dragonflies have good eyesight?
Answer: Dragonflies have excellent eyesight. In fact their eyes make up most of their heads. Dragonflies can see in every direction, except right behind them.
Question: How long have dragonflies lived on the earth?
Answer: Dragonflies have been here for more than 300 million years. Ancient dragonflies had wings that were 2 feet across! They were probably big enough to eat a small pet.
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