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Fancy a bit of nature spotting? Now we are back outdoors we are getting really close to nature and it’s wonderful to take time and enjoy the wonder of the insects and creatures around us.

If you’re near a river, pond or lake on a summer’s day, you might be lucky enough to spot a dragonfly and here are some interesting facts.

  1. Male dragonflies have their own patch of water that they defend, by chasing off any rivals!
  2. An adult dragonfly has the biggest eyes of any insect in the world. It can spot things up to 15 metres away.
  3. They might look harmless, but dragonflies need to survive by gobbling up flies, midges, and anything else small enough for them to eat.
  4. Dragonflies have been around for a lot longer than humans. Fossils of ancient dragonflies have been found from 325 million years ago!
  5. Dragonfly or damselfly? Damselflies are smaller than dragonflies, but also have four wings. They like staying very close to the water. The common blue damselfly is often seen in summer.
  6. There are about 30 different dragonfly species in Britain and Ireland – and about 7,000 in the world!
  7. A dragonfly starts life as an egg, then becomes a wingless larva. When it finally grows to become an adult, its life only lasts one or two months.
  8. The biggest dragonfly in Britain is the emperor dragonfly. End to end, it measures almost eight centimetres.

If you spot a dragonfly while out and about, why not get involved in the YHA Nature Challenge and share a video snippet or photo with us. Be careful and don’t step in the water if its not a safe place to do so.

Photo credit: Adobe / C. Schüßler

Next: read about Dinosaurs in Britain!

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