There are around 40 species of Dragonflies and Damselflies that regularly breed in the UK.

Depending on the species of dragonfly, the life cycle (from egg to death) can be anywhere from 6 months to several years. Most of this time is spend as a nymph under water. As actual flying dragonflies some will live a few months but a lot will be eaten themselves or else starve especially if the weather is cloudy or cool during the summer months meaning they can’t fly or there isn’t enough of their prey around.

I find it fascinating to watch the dragonflies skimming backwards and forward over the meadow hunting down their prey. Dragonflies eat mainly midges, flies and mosquitoes but will also eat butterflies, moths and smaller dragonflies. They catch their prey by making a basket form out of their legs, then hold their prey, eat it bite by bite while still flying.

Dragonflies are ectotherm meaning they can not regulate their internal body temperature so have to rely on the air temperature. Some dragonflies bask in the sun while others use wing whirring to warm themselves up. Wing whirring is when they vibrate their wing a bit like when we shiver.

Dragonflies can move each of their four wings independently, as well as moving them up and down they can move their wings backwards and forwards. This enables them to be amazing at flying.

It was once thought that dragonflies would sew up you mouth or eyes if you told lies.




Over the past week it has begun to feel like the beginning of autumn. We have had a few morning with mist on the ground and cobwebs full of dew.


About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire Badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
This entry was posted in insects, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Rural life, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Dragonflies

  1. A very good post with some cracking photos πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. New Moons For Old says:

    Another great post. I think a lot of people might associate dragonflies with water – ponds and rivers – only and not realise how extensively they hunt over meadows and along lane-banks and hedgerows.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neil says:

    Sorry they don’t live for several years when they emerge- a few months at the most; usually much less- maybe an average of a couple of weeks for a damsel. They can spend several years as nymphs in some places. Nice blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David Thornton says:

    Another great post. Thanks Alex. Nanny & Grampy Dave.


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