Crop & Pest Report

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Why are there so many Dragonflies? (7/28/11)

Dragonflies belong to the Order Odonata and there are about 400 species in United States. There are many dragonflies flying around fields and yards this year.

One of the reasons could be they are aquatic insects requiring water to complete their life cycle, and there lots of 12-spotted skimmerstanding water this year from the frequent rains. Dragonflies lay eggs in water and their nymphs are aquatic. They live in ponds, lakes and slow-moving streams. Dragonflies spent most of their lives in the larval stage (up to 3 years depending on the species). Adults only live for a few weeks. Dragonflies are predatory. Nymphs feed on tiny fish to mosquito larvae to other aquatic insects. As an adult, they eat other flying insects. Mosquitoes are one of their primary food sources. Dragonflies are harmless and like to fly around people, but will not sting or bite.

Janet J. Knodel - Extension Entomologist

janet.knodel@ndsu.edu

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