But there’s no need to be scared of man-biting dragonflies just yet. You see, it’s since been established that the creatures don’t actually have teeth. Instead, they have powerful serrated mandibles, and these formidable choppers allow them to crush insects with ease and feed on their prey. And although dragonflies may look ethereal, they’re actually ferocious predators with insatiable appetites. So woe betide any unlucky insects that crosses their path.
Dragonflies tend to be bigger than their damselfly cousins, and their wings typically stick out to the sides rather than resting above their bodies. And as adults, dragonflies are certainly distinctive creatures: their lithe frames, vibrant coloring and see-through wings often cause a stir whenever they’re spotted. The insects also sport huge, multifaceted eyes.
Dragonflies start life as eggs, but after they hatch they enter a larval stage, during which they are referred to as nymphs. At this point in their lifecycles, the creatures live in rivers and streams and can remain there for up to four years – until they are ready to emerge as adults. And even at this early stage, dragonfly lymphs are intimidating predators, feasting on anything from insect larvae to tadpoles; they’ve even been known to take on a fish or two!