Working to conserve dragonflies and their wetland habitats

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several questions about Dragonflies and Damselflies that are often asked. This page attempts to answer some of those questions. We can't promise that you will find the answer to the question that is of most interest to you here but if you have a question that you think we may be able to answer please send us your question and we will do our best.

What is the difference between Dragonflies and Damselflies?

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Do Dragonflies Bite or Sting?

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Why are they called Dragonflies?

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How long do Dragonflies live? Is it true that they only live for one day?

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What's the biggest/smallest dragonfly?

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How fast do they fly?

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How quickly do Dragonflies get their adult colour?

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What is the lifecycle of the Dragonfly?

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What do Dragonflies eat?

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Can I use Dragonflies to control mosquitos or other flying pests?

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What enemies do Dragonflies have?

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Are there any legends and myths about Dragonflies?

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Do Dragonflies have antennae (feelers)?

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Why do Dragonflies sometimes appear in large swarms?

Several species of dragonfly are known to collect in large aggregations or swarms. In Europe, the Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) and the Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) have been observed to do this.  In most cases this appears to be due to very favourable feeding conditions in the locality. It may also be a "courting" group with males actively searching for females. This is less likely as males are much more aggressive to each other when looking for a mate.
The Four-spotted Chaser occasionally collects in these large aggregations before making a mass movement to another locality (like a bird migration). The reasons for this are unclear but may be due to population pressures.  There are records from the US of migratory assemblages of species such as the Green Darner (Anax junius) and various species of Saddlebags (Tramea).

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