Dragonflies are efficient predators and can catch a variety of insect prey while on the wing. However, they are unable to hunt without flying, or even to walk at all, so a dragonfly with damaged wings is likely to starve to death.
Dragonflies start life as aquatic larvae, and will live in the water for up to two years before transforming into their adult form. Once they have wings, dragonflies become extraordinary flyers, capable of moving in all directions, of hovering and even of flying backwards. They can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour and will predict the movement of prey to intercept it, rather than just chase it down.
More about dragonflies:
- Dragonflies have the most complex eyes of any insect species, with over 30,000 facets, and can see more colors than humans, including ultraviolet light.
- Fossilized dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet across.
- Dragonflies are particularly good at keeping down mosquito populations. A single dragonfly might eat hundreds of mosquitoes in a single day.