Dragonflies

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Blue Eyed Darner Dragonfly

Blue Eyed Darner Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCYou can see the Blue-Eyed Darner Dragonfly on the south coast of the Pacific Northwest. This is a large dragonfly with a length of 6.5 to 8 cm. This species is found from southern British Columbia south to Baja California and Texas. It also occurs throughout Mexico and Central America. This species can be found near lakes, ponds, and marshes at lower elevations. Read More….

 

 

Cardinal Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Cardinal Meadowhawk Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe Cardinal Meadowhawk Dragonfly is small, with only a length of 4 to 5 cm. This species is found from southern British Columbia down the pacific northwest coast all the way to Chile. They can be found on the southeast coast of Vancouver Island from Campbell River south. Read More….

 

 

Common Whitetail Dragonfly

Common Whitetail Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe Common Whitetail Dragonfly is a stocky, medium-sized dragonfly. It is widespread throughout North America and can be seen in all of the Pacific Northwest. It is a species that is easy to recognize by its chalky white coloration that is present on the broad abdomen of the mature males. Read More….

 

 

Four Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly

Four Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe four spotted skimmer is a medium-sized dragonfly with a length up to 4.5 cm. The wings are clear except for a clouding along the leading edge. The center of each wing is marked with a small dark dot, also on the leading edge. Additionally, each hind wing is marked with a dark patch near the base. Read More….

 

 

Paddletail Darner Dragonfly

Paddletail Darner Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe Paddletail Darner Dragonfly is a big dragonfly with a length up to 7.5 cm. The base color of the male is brown to brownish black. The top of the thorax is marked with several yellowish green dashes, while each side of the thorax is marked with a pair of fairly thick, yellowish green diagonal stripes. Read More….

 

 

Shadow Darner Dragonfly

Shadow Darner Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe Shadow Darner Dragonfly is a large dragonfly with a length of up to 8 cm. This species is found from the Yukon Territories south to California and can be found in all of the Pacific Northwest. This dragonfly can be found near ditches, slow streams and ponds. Read More….

 

 

Striped Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Striped Meadowhawk Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe Striped Meadowhawk Dragonfly is a small dragonfly with a length of up to 4 cm. Mature males are mostly red while immature males and females are greenish yellow to olive green. All are marked on each side of the thorax with a pair of diagonal yellowish stripes. Read More….

 

 

Twelve Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly

Twelve Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe Twelve Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly is a fairly large dragonfly with a length up to 6 cm. Each wing is marked with three dark spots, one near the base where it attaches to the body, one in the center that nearly spans the width of the wing, and one at the tip. Read More….

 

 

Western River Cruiser Dragonfly

Western River Cruiser Dragonfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe Western River Cruiser Dragonfly is a large dragonfly, the sexes are similar in coloration but the females are usually larger. The head is brown with greenish grey eyes that meet across the top of the head.  Members of the order odonata are carnivorous. Adults capture prey by hawking or flying back and forth over an area. Read More….

 

 

The dragonfly is large predatory insect generally found around lakes and streams, they are quite common on Vancouver Island. The dragonfly larvae is aquatic. The dragonfly larvae or nymph is capable of producing a painful bite for humans, so don’t attempt to catch them in your hands.

They are best known for their beautiful colors and the way their body and wings sparkle when they are hovering over water. Dragonflies have long, thin colorful bodies, large eyes and two pairs of transparent wings. As with other species of insect, the dragonfly also has six legs but it is unable to walk on solid ground. In flight the adult dragonfly can propel itself in six directions which are upward, downward, forward, back, and side to side.

Common Green Darner, Vancouver Island, BC
Common Green Darner, Vancouver Island, BC

Both the dragonfly and it’s larvae are carnivorous animals and they feed exclusively on other small animals. The main prey of the dragonfly are mosquitoes, bees and other small invertebrates. The larvae feeds mainly on aquatic insects and their eggs. The dragonfly is itself, preyed upon by a number of predators including birds, fish, toads and frogs.

Female dragonflies lay their eggs in water. The dragonfly eggs then hatch into nymphs. which is how most of the dragonfly’s life is spent. The dragonfly nymphs live beneath the water’s surface, catching insects and vertebrates such as tadpoles and fish.

The larval stage of some dragonflies may last as long as five years. When the larva is ready to metamorphose into an adult, it climbs up a reed or other emergent plant. The exposure to air causes the larva to begin breathing. The skin splits at a weak spot behind the head and the adult dragonfly crawls out of its old larval skin, pumps up its wings and is ready for flight.

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