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Closeup photograph of a Dragonfly.

Growing up in the Caribbean, we called this much-maligned insect a Needle Case. It would be many years later before I learned its proper name and that it was harmless.

The Dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, Infraorder Anisoptera. They are characterized by their large compound eyes, transparent wings and needle-like lower body, hence the ‘Needle Case’ moniker.

Here are some cool dragonfly facts from the Smithsonian website:

  • Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago.
  • There are more than 5000 known species of dragonflies.
  • Dragonflies are expert fliers. They can fly in almost any direction, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air.
  • The flight of dragonflies are so special that it has inspired engineers who dream of making robots that fly like dragonflies.
  • Some adult dragonflies live for only a few weeks, while others live up to a year.

4 comments on “Dragonfly Closeup

  1. Anytime I’m able to capture an up-close image of a dragonfly (maybe 2x ever) I’m always excited, as well as hummingbirds. The images feel like trophies for some reason. Where’d you take this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I share that sentiment; those types of photos give a rewarding feeling. I photographed the dragonfly in Smyrna (Delaware).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ChrisS says:

    Those early proto-dragonflies got pretty big, too. The fossil record shows that Meganeura, from the Carboniferous period, was almost as long as your arm.

    Often wondered if the design of the helicopter was inspired by the dragonfly…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too have wondered if the dragonfly was the inspiration for the helicopter.


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