The dragonfly’s slender body and long, thin wings make if one of the fastest fliers in the insect world.
Dragonflies have four wings, two forewings, and two hind wings. The wings beat alternately for better flight control. Their wings can beat as many as one hundred times per second. The narrow, lacy wings are often brightly colored.
Dragonflies have two huge, multifaceted eyes that usually meet at the back of the head. These large eyes enable the dragonfly to see prey up to 39 feet (12m) away. Because dragonflies locate prey exclusively by sight, they hunt during the day.
A dragonfly’s legs are located at the front of the body. They can not walk but they use their basket-like legs to catch and hold prey.
A close relative of the dragonfly is the damselfly. They look similar by are different. The damselfly has a thinner body and is weaker in flight. The damselfly’s front and hind wings are roughly the same size; the dragonfly’s front wings are larger than the rear wings. The damselfly can fold its wings over its back when resting; a dragonfly cannot.
Dragonflies and damselflies belong to the order Odonata.