There are lots of fun and interesting facts about dragonflies. Some facts about dragonflies are scientifically proven facts and some are actually myths about dragonflies that have been around for as long as hundreds of years. Can you tell the difference between the myths and the facts about dragonflies?
- A bee flaps its wings about 300 times per second, but a dragonfly flaps its wings at only about 30 beats per second. (fact, dragonflies have two sets of wings so they donï¿½t have to beat them as much to fly.)
- A dragonfly is a very strong and good flyer, and can fly at speeds of up to 36 miles per hour. (fact, but not all dragonflies are that fast ï¿½ one was clocked at this speed in Australia)
- Dragonflies are known as snake doctors because they can bring dead snakes back to life. (myth)
- There were huge dinosaur dragonflies that lived 300 million years ago. (fact ï¿½ the largest fossil found had a 2 ï¿½ foot wingspan, and currently there are dragonflies in Costa Rica that measure 7 ï¿½ inches across the wings.)
- Dragonflies have huge stingers and some people are allergic to their stings and can die. (myth ï¿½ the thing that looks like a stinger on a dragonfly is actually called a clasper and the male dragonfly uses it to hold onto the female when they are mating.)
- There are about 5,000 different species of dragonflies all over the world except in Antarctica. 450 of the species can be found in the United States and about 80 species in British Columbia. (fact, most of the 5,000 species are found in remote, tropical areas.)
- A dragonflyï¿½s eyes have about 30,000 lenses and a dragonfly can see all the way around it, but they donï¿½t see details very well. (fact, a human eye only has one lens and sees better than a dragonfly, but only to the front and side of them.)
- From the time a dragonfly egg hatches, it can live anywhere from six months to six years, but only about two months as an actual dragonfly. (fact, most of the time spent is as a nymph in the water before the dragonflyï¿½s metamorphosis into a full grown dragonfly.)
- In the old days, dragonflies would seek out bad kids and sew their mouths together with their claspers while they slept. Dragonflies were known as the devilï¿½s darning needles. (myth ï¿½ dragonflies donï¿½t have pockets to carry the thread to the beds of sleeping wicked children.)
- A dragonflyï¿½s scientific name is Odonta, which comes from the words ï¿½tooth-jawedï¿½ because the entomologist (insect scientist), Johann Christian Fabricius, who named them studied the dragonfliesï¿½ mouths in order to distinguish the different species. Now their wings are studied as well to classify dragonflies. (fact ï¿½ other names for dragonflies around the world are water dipper in England, old glassy in China, and the ancient Celts called dragonflies big needle of wings.)
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.