Wildlife Gardening with Paul Peace

Wildlife gardening - timely advice throughout the year, projects etc. Information on wild flowers, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, etc. If it's to do with garden wildlife, you will find it here!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Who’s who in the world of the dragonfly and damselfly?

Dragonflies and damselflies should be out and about this month. They are similar in appearance and life-cycle. However, adult dragonflies are usually large and strong in flight and wander far from water, whereas damselflies are more delicate and weak in flight and stay close to water.

The fore- and hind-wings of dragonflies are different in shape, the hind-wings being broader near the body than the fore-wings. The fore- and hind-wings of the damselfly are similar in shape. At rest, dragonflies hold their wings wide open at right angles to their body whereas damselflies hold them back along their abdomen or partly open.

The eyes of dragonflies are close together, usually touching at some point, whereas those of damselflies are widely separated.

Dragonfly larvae have a broad, strong appearance and move in short busts as they expel water. Damselfly larvae are thinner and frailer and display gentler, undulating movements as they move using their tails.

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