Dragonflies

My Home: I am most often found near water and usually remain within a few miles of the place where my egg was hatched.

What I eat: As a larva, I eat tadpoles or small fish. As an adult I will eat other small insects, primarily mosquitoes, and I am considered useful for controlling the mosquito population. Dragonflies are carnivorous in both larval and adult stages.

What I look like: I can be any color and range in size by species from one to five inches. My antennae are very short.

How I am born: I go through three stages of development: egg, naiad (larval) and adult. My egg is laid in water and I typically hatch in two to three weeks. In my larval stage I am called a naiad. I live in the water and use internal gills to breathe. I can live in the water as a naiad for two to three years. When I am ready to become an adult I crawl out of the water and shed my skin. As an adult, I can live for over a year if I migrate away from the cold.

Fun Facts: The largest living dragonfly lived over 250 million years ago (before the dinosaurs) and had a wingspan of over three feet! A dragonfly needs warmth to fly and you will notice they will often land when the sun goes behind a cloud. There are 3,600 species of dragonflies in the world.