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.