Dragonflies are easily one of the most beautiful insects on the planet. There are species of this brilliant invertebrate on every continent (except for Antartica) and occasionally make an appearance on women in the form of tramp-stamps.
What truly these insects unique is their metallic color and the iridescent characteristics. What makes them even more fascinating is their traits across different species.
Until 2010 there were an estimated 3012 different species of dragonflies. Scientists expect to discover more in the upcoming years due to their ability to adapt and how widespread their genus is across the world.
Dragonflies have been split up into 11 categories to keep track of all the different kinds that exist.
Here are some of the most fascinating species of dragonflies:
1. Widow Skimmers
These guys are a pretty big bug, which makes them easy to observe and a favorite for researchers to study. The males and females look somewhat dissimilar, but they have no trouble recognizing one another when it comes to mating. The male dragonflies’ bodies are usually a powdery blue in color, and the females tend to be yellow-and-black.
Unlike other species where the males guard the female, the Widow Skimmer males leave the female by herself, thus “widowing” her.
These are mainly found in the continental United States and Canada.
This species is easily one of the more beautiful of the dragonflies found across the North American Continent.
The placement of round patches on their wings resemble saddlebags that usually grace the sides of horses.
Like other species of skimmers, they are largely found near the water. They are generally active toward during the late spring up until early autumn.
Their brilliant color makes them one of the most beautiful species of dragonfly you can find in the continental United States, parts of Canada, and Mexico.
3. Megaloprepus calculates
Anytime you see the prefix “Mega” in a species name; you can be sure that whatever you’re talking about is going to be darn big.
This species of dragonfly is actually the largest known dragonfly on the planet. The previous holder of this record ended up going extinct leaving this guy as number one.
It is gorgeous and has been described as a “pulsating blue-and-white beacon” when it is hovering around.
This dragonfly is actually one of the most carnivorous as it feeds on spiders by plucking them from their webs. They fly around until they can find a web inhabited by an unsuspecting spider. Then it goes in, grabs the little silk-spinner, and flies backward away from the web. The dragonfly then finds a cozy little tree branch where it can viciously pull off the spider’s unappetizing legs before consuming it’s body.
The larvae of this species is actually a top predator in its’ habitat. The feeds on tadpoles – that’s right baby frogs, they are so badass they eat baby frogs. They also help with pest control as they feed on the larvae of mosquitos which usually carry human disease.
Learn more about the different species of dragonflies from the video below!