Dragonflies are native to almost every where on Earth, in Idaho, our most common native dragonfly species is the Common Green Darner (anax junius). Dragonflies are easily recognized by their long slender body and two pairs of wings set close to the head. Dragonflies can be distinguished from damselflies in rest – dragonflies will hold their wings open, while damselflies will be held together over the body.
Dragonflies spend most of their lives as aquatic larvae, living in rivers and streams, and spending only a few days or weeks in insect form. Throughout history, dragonflies have provided inspiration for artists and poets – generally considered to be a positive figure, but in Europe during the middle ages, the dragonfly was often associated with the devil. While some dragonfly habitat is under threat in other parts of the world, dragonflies are a species of least concern in Idaho.
Interesting facts about Dragonflies:
- The oldest art depicting dragonflies comes from Middle Kingdom Egypt, about 4,000 years ago
- In Indonesia, dragonflies are fried in oil and eaten as a delicacy
- Dragonflies have excellent eyesight and are very good predators, eating many types of other insects
- Certain types of dragonflies can fly at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour
- Most recently, dragonflies have been genetically modified to be used as a super stealthy aerial surveillance device.