Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image This dragonfly was photographed at Settlement Canyon Reservoir. He nearly drowned in the water, but was saved. He was approximately 3 and a half inches long.

October 18, 2012
Dragonflies must live near water to survive

There are many things that people don’t know about dragonflies, but one interesting fact is that they are one of the most ancient living creatures on the earth.

Dragonfly fossils were recorded over 300 million years ago, but scientists have not only discovered that dragonflies existed longer than the dinosaurs, but back in prehistoric times dragonflies had wingspans up to 2 feet long. They dieted on larger insects and even amphibians.

Dragonflies are well known in Tooele County. They can be found in many places, including the Oquirrh Mountains, Settlement Canyon Reservoir, and Smelter, Blue Peak and Churchwood roads.

Although seen in these dry areas, if there is no water nearby, dragonflies cannot thrive and would go elsewhere, for water is an important ecosystem to dragonflies. It is where they will likely come to mate, lay eggs for offspring and to find a dependable habitat for food and hiding.

Because of the dragonfly’s extreme size for an insect, many come to think that they are able to bite and sting. This is false. They are unable to do either. They are just as harmless as butterflies. As a matter of fact, dragonflies help reduce biting mosquito populations. Mosquitos are one of their main diets around water. A single dragonfly will eat about 50 mosquitoes a day.

 

Addie T. Lindsay is 16 years old. She is a writer and accomplished photographer of wildlife creatures, big and small. She can be reached at CritterChatter@live.com.

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