25 Fun (but True) Dragonfly Facts

Dragonflies are as fascinating as they are beautiful. Review these fun and informative dragonfly facts to learn more about these extraordinary creatures.

blue dragonfly on leaf blue dragonfly on leaf

General Dragonfly Facts

You've probably seen a dragonfly in real life, but how much do you really know about these flying creatures?

  • Dragonflies have inhabited Earth for more than 300 million years.
  • There are more than 5,000 different species of dragonflies.
  • Dragonflies come in a wide array of beautiful colors, including yellow, red, brown, and blue. Some are iridescent in areas.
  • Because dragonflies require water to reproduce, their habitats are near water. Any water will do, from a natural body of water to a manmade backyard pond.
  • Dragonflies thrive in warm climates. They need to take in warmth from the sun before they start flying on their neverending quest for food.
  • Dragonflies do not have stingers, and they generally do not bite people.
  • The term for a group of dragonflies is "swarm."
  • Many people believe it is good luck for a dragonfly to land on your head.

Facts About Dragonfly Larvae/Nymphs

Discover some interesting facts about dragonfly larvae, which are also called nymphs.

  • After breeding, female dragonflies lay eggs on water or in an area that will fill with water.
  • Once the eggs hatch, they become aquatic larvae called nymphs.
  • Dragonflies stay in nymph form for up to four years, depending on species.
  • Dragonfly nymphs molt several times. Molting frequency varies by species, ranging from 8 to 17 times.
  • Dragonfly nymphs function as predators. They prey on larvae of other insects as well as tiny fish and tadpoles.
  • When it is time, the larvae will emerge from the water to metamorphosize into adult dragonflies.
  • During the metamorphosis, the dragonfly's wings, abdomen and exoskeleton emerge from the nymph.
dragonfly larva on leaf

Facts About Adult Dragonflies

Things are very different for adult dragonflies than for nymphs.

  • Once the metamorphosis is complete, the creature enters its general phase. It is weak and vulnerable until its wings dry and it gains strength.
  • Once the dragonfly gains strength, it takes to the air and begins feeding on flying insects caught in the air.
  • Their favorite insects to eat include cicadas, gnats, flies, and mosquitoes. Larger dragonflies will even eat smaller dragonflies.
  • Some people mistakenly believe that adult dragonflies only live one day, but this is not accurate other than in cases where a predator would strike on day one.
  • Adult dragonflies typically weigh just over a tenth of an ounce.
  • Their wingspan generally reaches from two to five inches wide.
  • The typical lifespan of a dragonfly is just a few months. They generally live just long enough to reproduce before falling victim to a predator.
  • Adult dragonflies have many predators, which is why their adult lifespan tends to be only a few months.
  • Common dragonfly predators include birds, fish, ducks, frogs, and lizards.
  • It is much more likely that a dragonfly will die because of a predator rather than its age.

Explore Entomology

Have you enjoyed learning these fascinating facts about dragonflies? You just might be a budding entomologist. This is a great time to start building up your knowledge of living things. Start by exploring several key characteristics of living things. Then, begin learning about how living things are classified. From there, explore some weird animal facts.