Dragonflies are insects that have a head, three section thorax, and an abdomen. They are also characterized by two large multifaceted eyes, two pair of transparent wings, and an elongated body. Damselflies are similar, but they are generally smaller and lighter in build. What is the main difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly? Damselflies hold their wings straight up when resting, while the dragonfly will hold their wings flat to the sides of the body. Dragon and damselflies are often found near water. Both are predators to tadpoles, small fish, and insects. They are fast and agile flyers, they have been known to migrate across oceans and they will catch insects while in flight.
The flame skimmer is a dragonfly of the Southwest, they are native to western North America. Their distinguishing characteristic is dark red-orange body. The females are usually darker than the males. The blue-eyed darner is a common dragonfly in the western United States, spotted in sagebrush areas where water is present. The familiar bluet is a damselfly are very common in North America. They are very bright blue and can be found by any water source and forage for small insects.
Various species of dragonflies and their relatives area very old. There are fossils found that date back 247-325 million years ago. Today there are over 3000 species of damselflies and dragonflies throughout the world.