Dragonflies: Some Cool Bugs

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I hate bugs!  I hate ants crawling in my house, and flies buzzing around my head.  I hate mosquitoes, and beetles, and just about any kind of bug that gets into my house. I hate spiders that lay webs across the trail to ambush runners.  I hate bees and other stinging things (Fat, fuzzy bumblebees are okay, though).  Junebugs and gypsy moths are gross.   Ladybugs aren’t bad, but they are a nuisance when they get into the house in the fall. But dragonflies:  they are cool!!

First, they eat mosquitoes, and anything that gets rid of mosquitoes (like bats!) has to be a good thing.  They  are predators and will eat anything that is available, like gnats, mayflies, ants, or termites.  Their main food is flies. They are not interested in biting people, and I’ve often had one land on my kayak and ride along for a while.  Dragonflies are also prey, being food for frogs, fish, birds, and even for bigger dragonflies.

Baby dragonflies are called nymphs, and live in the water for anywhere from 1 to 6 years.  Once they mature, their lifespan is only a few months. They have 6 legs, huge eyes, and two sets of wings.  There is some interesting info here.  One of the most common color of dragonflies I’ve seen lately look like this, with variegated wings.

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While dragonflies don’t bother people, they don’t seem bothered by us either.  When running down a single track trail through high grass, the dragonflies just bump along in front of you.  They never completely fly away, just bounce far enough ahead to not get stepped on.

Dragonflies come in many colors.  I have seen blue, red, green, yellow, pink, purple,  and multicolor.  I think the ones that stand out most against the outdoors are the red ones.

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The next time you are out in the woods, look for the dragonflies.  You will see them around the edges of the water, in open, grassy fields.  What do you mean, you never get out in the woods??!!  Go outside and play!

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