Dragonfly Life Cycle

The Fascinating Lives of Insects

You've seen dragon flies.  They are those huge blue or green (sometimes bronze or red) insects, flying in a zig zag pattern in the air, catching bugs on the wing.

Dragon Fly Life Cycle

The shorter stubbier ones are sometimes referred to as 'darners' for the flight pattern they follow, incessantly.

Did you know that the juvenile phase of this insect, the nymph, lives for several years underwater, without coming up for air?

They only start breathing when they crawl out of the water onto a reed, split open their back and the adult form, complete with crumpled wings, emerges.

The discarded dragonfly nymph case attached to a reedThe discarded dragonfly nymph case attached to a reed

The first time I ever saw this, I was astounded at the ugly blackish bug that crawled out of the water, and only when it had hatched out into a dragon fly did I realize what a miracle I had witnessed.

The nymphs live in the mud of a pond for up to three seasons, eating mosquito larvae and other tiny creatures.

As adults, they live only for the remainder of the summer, flying their patrol type pattern - the males in open spots like lawns, above roofs, and over roads or bodies of water, the females hanging around closely near a small pond or other place where she can lay her eggs.

Use Caution with the Bacillus for killing Mosquito Larvae

Although BTK is supposed to be fine to use where there are other creatures and not harm them, this is not correct.

Used to excess, the granules (or the mosquito larvae that have eaten them) are ingested by dragon fly larvae, which doesn't kill them outright, but it does make their wings deformed.

After seeing several newly hatched adults with this issue, I was very careful not to overdo the application of the bacillus in the pond.

Dragonfly damaged by BacillusDragonfly damaged by Bacillus used for mosquito control in the pond

Keep these ancient insects happy in your garden so they can do the job of catching pest insects on the wing.

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