A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, the suborder Epiprocta or, in the strict sense, the infraorder Anisoptera (from Greek ανισος anisos, "uneven" + πτερος pteros, "wings", because the hindwing is broader than the forewing).[1] It is characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body. Dragonflies can sometimes be mistaken for damselflies, which are morphologically similar; however, adults can be differentiated by the fact that the wings of most dragonflies are held away from, and perpendicular to, the body when at rest. Dragonflies possess six legs (like any other insect), but most of them cannot walk well. Dragonflies are among the fastest flying insects in the world. Dragonflies can fly backwards, change direction in mid-air and hover for up to a minute[2]

For more information about dragonfly check out the ZME Science articles below.

ZME Science posts about dragonfly

Biology, News

Dragonflies hunt prey like dancing a ballet, similar to the internal model used by humans

Composite image of dragonfly carrying retroreflective markers. The markers are used to measure the orientation of the dragonfly’s head and body during flight. The data from the measurements allows the underlying steering strategy to be inferred. Credit: Igor Siwanowicz, Leonardo Lab, HHMI/Janelia Research Campus

Arguably the most efficient predator in the world today is the dragonfly, which boats a 95% success rate. Obviously, there’s more to the dragonfly than meets the eye or more than you would expect from some random insect, at least. One of the reasons it’s so successful may be due to how the dragonfly moves in response to its prey,…


Article suggests dragonflies are the most effective predators in the animal world – 95% success rate


Lions roar and act tough, and they’re often regarded as kind of the land, but only 1 in 4 of their hunts is successful. Sharks have been on top of the food chain for hundreds of millions of years, and still half of their attempts fail. Dragonflies on the other hand, look soft and fragile, and are among the few…


GeoPicture of the week: Giant Dragonfly fossil


This is a Cast of an original fossil of a Meganeuridae. If you’re scared of dragonflies, brace yourself for this: these extinct insects from the Carboniferous period measured up to 70 cm. They are the largest known species of flying insect. Controversy has prevailed as to how insects of the Carboniferous period were able to grow so large, especially considering…