Do Dragonflies Bite or Sting? What Happens when it Bites You?

Once upon a time, when the world pollution levels weren’t reaching the sky, dragonflies were found in every nook and corner of a tropical city. Seeing a dragonfly is a rare but beautiful sight now. These pretty and unique creatures are mysterious. Do we run away from them or do we get closer to observe the fine details on their wings and bodies? Do dragonflies bite or sting? And if they do, is a dragonfly bite lethal or dangerous?

Does a dragonfly bite hurt?

These are questions you’ve most probably asked yourself at least once in your life. After all, I’m sure that you’ve seen a dragonfly at some point in your life. Well, keep reading to find out the answers to these questions!

The basic anatomy of a dragonfly

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to teach you anatomy or medicine. However, to understand the paragraphs below, you need to understand the basic anatomy of a dragonfly. This will make it easier for you to picture the text in your mind!

Do Dragonflies Bite?

Do Dragonflies Bite?


The images above show the basic anatomy of dragonflies. There are only two main structures that you need to note here: the mandibles and the ovipositor. The ovipositor is shown in the upper picture. The mandible is shown in the lower one. Only these two structures are related to our discussion of dragonfly bites and stings below.

Do Dragonflies Bite?

Of course, dragonflies bite! How else would they survive in the world out there? They bite and kill whatever insects can get between their mandibles. This is their primary mode of hunting. It’s how they get their energy.  They’re pretty fierce hunters, I must say! They can feed on other insects and bite them instantly when those insects pass close to them.

However, dragonflies aren’t famous for biting humans. You see, they can only bite when there’s something in between their mandibles.

Also Read: What Do Dragonflies Eat? and Other Facts of Dragonflies
Therefore, a dragonfly can never bite you if its mandibles are away from your skin. You need to hold them so that their mandibles aren’t touching your skin. This way, the dragonfly can’t bite you. On the other hand, if the dragonfly feels threatened by you and its mandibles are near your skin, it can bite you. It might not even be able to pierce your skin. This is because piercing the skin requires a lot of force. Only big dragonflies that have large mandibles are able to do that. Otherwise, a medium-sized dragonfly is very unlikely to bite you. Most dragonflies that you see around are medium-sized.

Do Dragonflies Bite?

If a dragonfly randomly sits on you, it won’t bite. Dragonflies don’t sense human skin as flesh to eat upon. Therefore, dragonflies are pretty harmless when it comes to humans. With other small insects, dragonflies are very lethal.

Does it hurt when a dragonfly bites a human?

Dragonfly bites don’t really hurt. Of course, everyone’s pain threshold is different. The pain felt with a dragonfly bite varies from person to person. Generally speaking, dragonfly bites produce nothing except maybe a small wince. Therefore, if a dragonfly decides to sit on you, let it. Please don’t go running around screaming and panicking! Let them be and they’ll let you be.

Do Dragonflies Bite?If a dragonfly does bite you, then you don’t need to worry. This is because dragonfly bites are not poisonous. They are harmless to humans. So, if a dragonfly ever bites you, just stay calm and brush it off. Think of it as a normal ant bite. There won’t be any allergic reaction afterward. If you really want to be cautious, then you can apply a band-aid to that area. The bite would be so small that you wouldn’t even be able to recognize the area. Dragonfly bites don’t normally bleed. So, stop worrying about it if you see that a dragonfly has bitten your children. You don’t need to rush to the hospital. It will heal on its own without any intervention.

Do dragonflies sting?

An insect can only sting if it has a probe. Dragonflies have such a body part, but it’s used for laying eggs. It’s not used for stinging humans! Therefore, dragonflies don’t particularly sting humans.

Also Read: Cockroaches Bite – Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

If a dragonfly lays on your hand while laying eggs, only then it can sting you. There are very low chances of this happening. Dragonflies use their ovipositor tube to lay eggs. This tube may accidentally sting you when you’ve picked a dragonfly just before she’s about to lay her eggs. But hey, it’s not the dragonfly’s fault. Dragonflies can’t recognize humans as predators. For all they know, they’re laying eggs on a soft piece of cloth.

This means that dragonflies don’t sting! Accidentally stinging doesn’t really count as stinging!


To conclude, dragonflies are beautiful creatures that are harmless to humans. Their fiery is limited to small insects. The dragonflies can fit these small insects between their mandibles. This act has given them a fierce reputation and bold nicknames.

If you want your kid to have fun in a garden that contains dragonflies, you shouldn’t worry about the dragonflies. They’re practically harmless! Just teach your kid not to catch those dragonflies in their hands or threaten them! Let your kids play with these beautiful dragonflies. They do not harm humans so your kids will be safe. It’s good to let your kids spend some time with nature around them.

Whenever you see a dragonfly, don’t get scared. Don’t go running away from it. Don’t try to hit it. Instead, approach the dragonfly up close and observe it. See for yourself their beautiful and delicate wings. See their intricate body structure. Observe the different patterns on them.

Dragonflies are intensely beautiful. You should see them with interest and excitement, not fear! Therefore, let’s all try to remove the misconception that dragonflies can bite or sting.

People often get scared of them because dragonflies are bigger than normal flies. After all, wasps are much smaller but their bites and stings can be pretty damaging, right? So, it would be natural to expect a dragonfly to bite. However, fortunately, the truth is far from this!



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