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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I have seen a dragonfly repeatedly dipping its ‘tail’ into the water – what is it doing?

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How good are dragonflies’ eyes?

I have a dragonfly stuck in my conservatory / garage, what can I do to help it?

There is a dragonfly that has been resting on my wall / hedge for a day, is it ill – what can I do to help it?

I have found a dragonfly that has a damaged wing – will it still be able to fly – what can I do to help it?

Where is a good place to see dragonflies?

How do I create a pond for dragonflies?

I have a pond but cannot seem to get dragonflies and damselflies to live in it – is there anything I can do to encourage them to use it?

I have created a small pond and want wildlife to use it, I have put fish in it. What can I do to get dragonflies and other wildlife to use it?

I have bought some pond plants for my aquarium and a dragonfly / damselfly has emerged and is flying around my house – what shall I do?

I have a dragonfly / damselfly emerging in my pond and it has started raining, the rain looks like it may damage the dragonfly – should I do anything to help it?

A larva on a stem in my pond has stayed in place for some time.  Is it alright?