University of Florida

Dragonflies

In as buggy an environment as Florida, dragonflies may be the best friend a human can have. These elegant insects are excellent hunters and their prey is mostly flies and mosquitoes; they can eat their weight in pesty bugs in a half-hour. Add in their attractive appearance and that's one beneficial insect that lives up to its description.

Dragonflies can fly at speeds up to 30 miles per hour to avoid predators like birds and frogs. Huge compound eyes help them see their prey, which they catch in mid-air. Dragonflies do not sting or bite people.

Most dragonfly females lay their eggs in mud or water. The nymphs hatch within a few weeks and then live in the water for up to two years.

Dragonflies tend to live in areas near ponds, rivers, wetlands, or lakes. Having a garden pond will attract them, and using few or no pesticides will ensure they stick around.

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