“The Dragonfly” – A Balance in Nature
We have all learned about the balance in nature in school and its importance to the environment and our survival. These photographs, that I was lucky enough to capture, depict just one small example of such balance in the Insecta (Insect) class of invertebrates within the arthropod phylum, in other words, the bug world. Since I possess very limited entomological knowledge and skills, I can only identify these two insects as a dragonfly and a wasp. I have, however, done a little research on the dragonfly and discovered some interesting facts and myths you might find interesting.
Experts believe there are somewhere between 5500 and 6500 species of dragonflies and damselflies total. The damselfly is different from the dragonfly in that it is usually slim and its eyes are widely separated with its wings narrow at the base. Most species hold their wings above the abdomen. The dragonfly is larger and its eyes touch near the top of its head. When resting, its wings are usually spread.
The life span of a dragonfly ranges from less than a month to six months in temperate zones. They eat other flying insects particularly mosquitoes. Dragonflies are known for their ability to hover in one spot for a long period of time and for their ability to dart from place to place. A dragonfly can go from a dead stop to 90 mph in a few seconds.
Dragonflies have been in existence for over 100 million years. They are an amazing creature which often gives birth to interesting mythology.
In Ireland and parts of Europe, dragonflies were associated with fairies. Some fables and fairytales told that if you would follow a dragonfly, it would lead you to fairies. In Sweden,
Folklore tells that dragonflies come around to check for bad souls and are believed to sneak up on children who tell lies and also on adults who curse and scold. Dragonflies had a variety of roles in Native American tribes. The Hopi and Pueblo tribes considered the dragonfly a medicine animal associated with healing and transformation. Killing a dragonfly was considered taboo. To the Japanese, it symbolizes summer and autumn. In China, people associate it with prosperity, harmony and as a good luck charm. In many regions the dragonfly is considered to be an agent of change and symbolic of a sense of self-realization.