Dragonflies

I have long loved Dragonflies.

Even as a child they struck me as magical creatures. With their double wings, their speed, their exquisite flight control, and their iridescent beauty. I was captivated.

When it came to my attention that we have Dragonflies featured on RainbowLife.co.uk in the form of an Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet and a Hand-made Ugandan Greetings card I could resist no longer: blog time.

Here are a few little-known facts about wonderful Dragon flies.

Did you know for example that dragon flies were some of the first winged insects to evolve? While modern dragonflies may look a decent size compared to other insects the fossil record shows early dragonflies with a wingspan of 60cm (24inches) or more. Can you imagine hearing that drone sized “insect” hovering near you?

In common with all insects, dragonflies breathe through little holes in their abdomens called spiracles. In dinosaur days the atmosphere was oxygen rich. This allowed for significantly more growth potential. These days insects can’t get enough oxygen through simple gaseous exchange via their spiracles to support larger growth.

Dragonflies are masterful and voracious hunters. They eat many other different types of insects such as mosquitoes, gnats, flies, ants, termites and even spiders. They are so good at intercepting fast flying prey, on the wing, that they were studied extensively for the development of the patriot anti-missile missile system developed by the United States. It takes extremely complex mathematics to calculate where to intercept a fast-flying object even when its course is a predictable straight line; imagine trying what is involved when the object (insect) is darting all over the place.

You will be pleased to learn that despite their fearsome reputation in the small insect world, dragonflies have no interest in biting humans. If you are lucky enough to have one land you, don’t brush it off hastily. Rather take the time to look at this fascinating creature up close and personal. It is a treat.

Dragonflies are our friends.

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