Dragonflies are insects that evolved around 300 million years ago. There are around 5000 species of dragonflies which belongs to Odonata order i.e.toothed one. These dragonflies live in the temperate zones. They stay mostly near water such as canals, lakes, ponds, rivers, swamps, and streams. Each dragonfly stays alive for six to seven months. Dragonflies are large creatures which have eyes near their head. They have wings i.e. forewings along with the hind wings. The wings spread out when the dragonflies rest. They have the wingspan of two to five inches. So, let’s dive in and see what do dragonflies eat, do dragonflies eat mosquitos and what attracts dragonflies?
WHAT DO DRAGONFLIES EAT?
The dragonflies are agile predators. These small insects are carnivorous by nature. The dragonflies eat food equal to their body weight within 30 minutes. During the larvae stage, the dragonflies are usually aquatic.
WHAT DO NYMPH DRAGONFLIES FEED?
The nymph dragonflies eat small insects, fish, mosquito larvae, tadpoles and others. The larval stage of dragonflies lasts for around 2 years. They are fast swimmers and feed on anything that is moving under or on the water surface. The nymphs work on the hyper-thrust mechanism which allows them to catch the prey with a perfect speedy boost. The dragonfly nymphs catch their prey within reach by unfurling their labium. They thrust towards the prey and grab them. Some dragonfly larvae catch the prey with pointed palps while others use mouthparts for grabbing the prey.
WHAT DO ADULT DRAGONFLIES FEED?
The adult dragonflies eat insects especially mosquitos and control their population. Each adult dragonfly feeds upon hundreds of mosquitos within a day. The adult dragonflies can feed on all the insects by using their legs that form the basket to clutch their prey into a slushy mess. These dragonflies then use their mandibles for swallowing the creatures. The adult dragonflies catch the insects during their flight and feed on gnats, mosquitos, mayflies, moths, bees, ants, termites, butterflies and other flying insects.
Read Also: Do Dragonflies Bite or Sting?
Dragonflies are exceptional fliers. They fly up and down in the air like a helicopter. The dragonflies can starve if they do not fly because they catch the prey during their flight. The dragonflies catch the prey with the help of their feet. They are highly efficient in catching the prey.
DO DRAGONFLIES EAT MOSQUITOS?
Dragonflies are best insect predators. The dragonflies are fascinating mosquito hawks which can kill hundreds of mosquitos. Dragonflies are the best natural predators that feed on mosquitos. They have excellent vision along with excellent flying speed to catch the prey. They have the camouflaging ability which allows them to feed on insects like mosquitos. Dragonflies do eat mosquitos and serve as mosquito zappers. They feed on mosquitos and reduce their number in your outdoor areas. The dragonflies are scary biters, but they are dangerous to mosquitos.
ADULT & NYMPH DRAGONFLIES- GREAT INSECT PREDATORS:
The adult dragonflies eat all insects without being picky. The mosquitos are the bulk component of their diet. The larger the size of a dragonfly, the larger the prey it will catch. They can consume large prey and eat 15% diet equal to their body weight. The dragonflies eat various mosquitos each day. The nymphs feed on mosquito larvae when in water. The larvae stage of mosquitos is the better predator of mosquitos. The adult dragonflies feed on insects during the daytime when the mosquitos keep hiding in the bushes or timberlines. The adult dragonflies feed on adult mosquitos while basking themselves in sun and sitting on flat rocks.
WHAT ATTRACTS DRAGONFLIES?
The dragonflies are exceptional creatures in order to get rid of bugs. They are the bug zappers for your yards. The key element to attract dragonflies includes the environment which is safe and comfortable for the dragonflies. The best way to attract dragonflies to your yards is to have a water body at your place or near your place. It should be dragonfly friendly. The dragonflies need water for laying eggs. The nymphs stay in the water in order to reach adulthood. You can create a manmade pond to attract the dragonflies. However, this pond should be free from chemicals, fish, and duck as they feed on the dragonfly nymphs.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ATTRACTING THE DRAGONFLIES:
Other than this attraction, the dragonflies need following requirements for attraction to your site:
- They need sunlight for five to six hours each day.
- They need protection against the wind.
- The depth of the pond should be around 2 feet. If it is shallow, the pond dries up or gets overheated. The water for the pond should be from the perfect source.
- The pond should have floating and submerged plants to achieve oxygen. The plants serve as incubation and hiding chambers for the nymphs. They provide oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from their bodies.
- You should place plants outside the pond for easy perching. The elevated plants around the pond, allow the dragonflies to keep an eye on their prey. Till the time the plants elevate, use sticks in the pond. This allows the dragonfly nymphs to stay near water.
- You can place flat rocks nearby to bask within the sunlight. Dragonflies are solar powered. Science categorizes dragonflies into cold-blooded insects which allows them to absorb warmth. They become active after absorbing sunlight.
The dragonflies attract water bodies such as ponds, river, lakes or streams. They love hanging around in your backyard if you have a water body. Allow the dragonflies to stay near your outdoor areas by keeping the water clean. If you can’t arrange a pond in your outdoor area, you can add a fountain in your garden which attracts the dragonflies.
Dragonflies are a perfect source of getting rid of pests in your yard. They are happy bugs which invade your outdoor area to get rid of pests especially mosquitos. The dragonflies are extremely territorial so create a place where they stick for their entire life serving as natural predators. You can plant flowers, trees and build ponds or fountain for perfect attraction to the dragonflies.