Dragonflies are interesting animal. Instead of having body that resembles a dragon, this animal has two sets of wings, basket formed limbs and big eyes with 30,000 lenses. While many people think that dragonflies are herbivore that eat leaves, dragonfly food is actually meat!
Dragonflies are carnivorous animal in nature. When fly around, they are like killing machine that is ready to catch any small insects that pass by. What are actually favorite foods of dragonflies?
List of Dragonfly Food You Never Expect Before
In nature, there are some insects that are known as favorite foods of dragonflies. These insects are commonly in smaller size than dragonflies, even though some are in the same size. Dragonflies can fly rapidly, between 36 and 54 kilometer per hour. This capability allows dragonflies to catch their preys with ease.
What do dragonflies eat? Here are favorite foods of dragonflies, both in early stage and adult:
1. Mosquito larvae
During nymph stage, dragonflies eat mosquito larvae, worms, and small water insects. Even though they are in early life, dragonflies can be an expert hunter since they have limb that allows them to swim fast in the water. Their mouth yearn for meat that can be found underwater. For smaller insects, dragonfly nymphs are such horrible threat.
Do you know that dragonfly nymph can swim like a jet? This is a fact because nymphs can eject water from their anal opening, giving them burst of speed that resembles jet propulsion system. This makes it impossible for the prey to escape from the nymph.
Dragonflies love to fly over the ponds for a reason. It is the best place to find huge number of mosquitoes. Due to its habit of eating mosquitoes, dragonflies are useful for human.
Adult dragonflies do not eat larvae and small aquatic insects. As substitute, moths become their favorite foods among others. Even though dragonflies fly around water, sometimes they fly long way from water puddles to find other food and moths are their prey.
Flies are also listed into dragonfly prey. You might think that flies can fly faster than dragonflies. In fact, dragonflies fly faster, thanks to two sets of wings that allow them to fly fast without beating their wings in high frequency. Even though dragonflies beat their wings only 30 times per second, they can be a good racer in the air.
Another flying insect that dragonflies eat is butterfly. Apart from the fact that butterfly has wide wings that hinder the dragonflies from catching and biting, butterflies are listed into their favorite food. Dragonflies only bite and eat the meat and leave the wings. However, dragonflies often hunt for butterflies in smaller size than them.
6. Smaller dragonflies
Yes, dragonflies eat other dragonflies. These small critters are created as carnivorous insect and cannibal as well. Especially when they cannot hunt other insects, smaller dragonflies become delicious food to fill their abdomen. Surprisingly, dragonflies are able to eat equal to their weight within 30 minutes!
Read also : Dragonflies Facts, Diets, and Habitats
How Do Dragonflies Catch Preys and Eat?
Dragonflies are created with basket-formed limbs that help them catch their preys. It enables them to catch insects while flying. After catching the preys, dragonflies usually perch and start eating. How do dragonflies eat while they do not have teeth? Dragonflies are equipped with very strong mandibles that allow them to bite and chew meat and do what carnivore should do.
Dragonflies are impressive insects. Apart from its small size, this small creature is like a killing machine that is ready to hunt its preys. Dragonfly food varies, ranging from moths, butterflies, mosquito, and many other flying insects. To help them catch the preys, dragonflies use their limbs and mandibles to bite.