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Meet Damselfly

Found near rivers, ponds and lakes, Damselflies are the smaller cousins of Dragonflies. What's the difference you ask? The Damselfly is a little smaller than the Dragonfly and also rests with its wings held straight back behind it as opposed to the wide-winged Dragonfly.

Damselflies are brilliant shades of blue, green, iridescent black, and even red here in the Great Lakes states. There are multiple species here and they can be found worldwide except for in Antarctica. These lovely little creatures may be beautiful but they are voracious predators both as a nymph in the water and as an adult, resting on stems near a river. They don't often sit still, reacting to the smallest movements around them and flying off. However, if undisturbed, they will rest on vegetation to hunt their next meal. With powerful abilities to hover like a helicopter and dart about like a fighter plane, they are a formidable predator for insects within their reach.

Damselflies need freshwater to breed and they lay their eggs just at or below the surface of the water. Those eggs hatch into nymphs - small aquatic insects that live in the rivers, ponds, lakes and wetlands where they hunt aquatic organisms. They are also food for fish and crustaceans able to catch them. As they grow, they mature into a damselfly much like a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. From there, they spend their days seeking mosquitoes, flies and pretty much any insect that might be food. With powerful jaws, they are nothing you want to capture by hand as they are quite capable of biting.

These stunning insects are dependent on good water quality and habitat so deforestation, habitat loss, and pollution can have devastating effects on the local population. That said, if you see these creatures, you can be pretty sure the water quality is suitable to support damselflies and dragonflies both.

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