University of Delaware
Subscribe today! ipad version now available

The Jet Set

The fighter jets of the insect world, dragonflies can pick off prey and consume it in mid-air. Over their 300 million years on the planet, they've evolved flying skills that continue to challenge aircraft engineers, such as the transition from hovering to high-speed pursuit.

comet darner

Comet Darner

This male dragonfly is large, striking in color, and has distinctive long legs that are held close to the body during flight.

calico pennant

Calico Pennant

The male of this dragonfly species displays red, heart-shaped markings like valentines on the top of its abdomen. In females, the markings are yellow.

ebony jewelwing

Ebony Jewelwing

This large damselfly has a bouncy, flapping flight. If a female has mated recently, the male will remove the previous suitor's sperm packet and replace it with his own.

american rubyspot

American Rubyspot

This damselfly adds its bright colors to autumn's glory until the first hard frost. See the bright red spot at the base of the wings? That means this is a male.

Swamp Darner

This 4-inch dragonfly with the big blue eyes is one of the largest dragonfly species found on the Delmarva Peninsula. It perches on objects with its body hanging vertically compared to the horizontal posture of smaller species.