Easily recognized for their rather ethereal beauty, the “dragon” portion of their name comes from their fierce jaws that they use to catch their flying prey. The “fly” portion of their name is apt – they are the world’s fastest insects, capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 mph. Dragonflies and their smaller counterparts, damselflies, feed on insects like gnats, mosquitoes, midges, flies, butterflies and moths and even other, usually smaller dragonflies.  Near water, they will eat anything small enough that moves – water beetles, small fishes, salamander larvae and smaller dragonfly larvae. In addition to being predators of a number of insect pests, their appetite for mosquitoes alone provides a more comfortable and safer environment to garden in.  Take a tour of some of these amazing creatures.

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