I have been trying to pay more attention this spring to some of the smaller creatures we find around us and I continue to be amazed at their beauty the closer I look. Not only do we find beauty but history as well. Dragonflies, for example, have inhabited the earth for 300 million years - a real survivor. Although some people believe that they only live for one day, the shortest they live from egg to death as an adult is closer to six months and can be much longer. In their first stage of life as Nymphs, they can live in water for several years. Once the larva's transformation is complete, the adult dragonfly emerges and this is what we see the above picture. As an adult, their lifespan is shorter, just enough time to mature and reproduce - which can range from a couple of weeks in harsh climates to upwards of six months in warmer climes.
Dragonflies are voracious eaters and can eat their own weight in food is 30 minutes. As Nymphs, dragonflies eat mosquito larvae, other acquatic insects and worms, even small aquatic vertebrates like tadpoles and small fish. As adults, dragonflies like to each gnats, mayflies, flies, mosquitoes and other small flying insects. They even sometimes eat butterflies, moths and bees. Watch out for these guys they deserve the label "predator".