Written by Ruby Rosenfield
Have you ever walked by the water’s edge and watched a dragonfly alight on a twig, its wings glistening in the sunlight?
Dragonflies are primitive insects, and can be seen in healthy, non-polluted freshwater environments.
In Australia dragonflies fall into two groups, the damselflies, which are very slender, and dragonflies, which are stouter, stronger flying insects.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature urges Australia to protect its dragonflies as many Australian dragonflies have unique biology.
The life of the dragonfly consists of three stages: egg, larvae, and adult.
We generally only see the adults as the egg and larvae stages are underwater.
Some species tend to inhabit ponds, lagoons, lake and temporary streams, while others mostly inhabit streams.
When dragonflies mate, the male transfers his sperm to storage sacs in the female who later uses the sperm to fertilise the eggs as they are laid.
If they are disturbed while in the mating position they can fly around still locked together and often settle only a short distance away!
Adults can live from one to three months but sometimes longer in warmer, drier areas. Sixteen different beautiful species of dragonfly have been identified in the Fay Smith Wetlands in Maryborough alone, so imagine how many different species there are on the whole of the Fraser Coast.
If you are fortunate enough to have dragonflies in your home garden, please realise that if you spray insecticides in your garden you could kill them.