With the weather warming up and the recent rains that filled our empty dam and my frog pond, I have noticed that the dragonflies are back.
Dragonflies and Damselflies are large, conspicuous insects generally found near freshwater habitats. They are an ancient and successful group that was around long before the dinosaurs evolved.
They have fantastic flying abilities and well-developed eyes. This makes them excellent hunters of other flying insects and they can hover, move in zigzags, and even fly backwards. Some people find their size, speed and large eyes intimidating but, despite their powerful jaws, they are harmless. In fact, they do us a favour by eating many insects that bite us.
Both adults and larvae are predatory, with the larvae hunting under water and the adults above water. Just sitting back and watching the adults flying missions to protect their territory and hunting prey at high speed and capturing them in mid-flight is amazing.
According to the Australian Museum, there are 320 species known to Australia and about 100 occur around Sydney. Our dam and frog pond might support only a few but they are pleasure to watch in action. The variety of colours is wide: Reds, Blues and even a large dull Black. All have extremely thin transparent wing, some with colour patches, supported by a delicate vein pattern that are just out of this world.
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