Currently viewing the category: "Dragonflies and Damselflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

cant get rid of these bugs
These bugs keep infesting my fountain(pix # 2) the humming birds wont drink from here anymore. How do I make them go somewhere else? I have lizards and because of that I don’t use a bug man. Every time I go to ad water to my fountain these bugs are all over under the water. What are they? Do they bite or sting? How do I make them go away? Please help. Thanks in advance.
Tonya Stonehocker
Las Vegas Nevada

Dragonfly Naiad

Dragonfly Naiad

Hi Tonya,
There is no reason to want to get rid of these predatory immature Dragonfly Naiads.  They will eat mosquito larvae in your fountain.  We cannot think of any reason the humming birds would be frightened off by the Naiads.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

(08/29/2008) Golden-Silk Spider Eating Large Dragonfly – Palm Beach County – Florida
Hello Purveyors of Bug Identifications,
First – thanks for providing such an educational website. I use it quite a bit while working for the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management. We oversee the protection of thousands of acres of wildlands and one of my numerous jobs is to create trail guides/publications for these properties. This means I need to know what sorts of creatures roam the woodlands – and since I work in the warm, wet climate of South Florida, that means lots of bugs! I am sending you a picture of a female golden-silk spider enjoying a light repast of dragonfly. This photos was taken at the Delray Oaks Natural Area in Delray Beach, Florida. Note, I believe the small spider in the upper right corner is a male. He seems to be waiting his turn at the dinner table – probably smart considering the huge size discrepancy between the two. If he is not careful, he may be dessert! Keep up the great work!
Ann Mathews
Senior Environmental Analyst
Palm Beach County

Hi Ann,
Your letter came at the perfect time to be selected as the Bug of the Month for September as well as being cross referenced in the Food Chain and Bug Love. Golden Silk Spiders, Nephila clavipes, have pronounced sexual dimorphism, with the female sometime being 100 times the mass of the diminutive male. Golden Silk Spiders have extremely strong silk, and attempts have been made to use it for fabric, but this is far too expensive to be practical. Golden Silk Spiders are also called Banana Spiders and can be found in the southeastern US and south all the way to Argentina.

Anxious Comment
OK, this is just sad
I’m anxiously awaiting the September Bug of the Month…does that mean I’m addicted?
Misty Doy

Hi Misty,
We usually post the new Bug of the Month on the last day of the month even if we have selected it a few days earlier. It will be live shortly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bandwing dragonlet-dragonfly species not on your site Hialeah Florida
I took this photo in my yard yesterday (Aug. 19, 2008) the same time as the bee fly picture. I thought you already had a picture of this dragonfly on your site, but after I checked today, I didn’t see it. I googled for ‘Dragonfly species Florida’ and I’ve tentatively ID’ed it as a Band-Winged Dragonlet going by the one I found here- (that photo isn’t as clear as mine, but I do think it’s the same species).
Marian Mendez

Female Bandwing Dragonlet
(08/20/2008) fem.banded dragonlet- Hialeah Fla.
I hadn’t intended to send another email today (Aug 20, 2008), but I snapped this dragonfly in pretty much the same place in my yard as the male Banded Dragonlet I sent you earlier today and I *think* it’s the female Banded Dragonlet. The coloring is lighter than some I’d seen, but possibly it’s a young one? The possibility of adding a pair to your site was irresistable. I love dragonflies. Considering the limitations of my camera, I was astounded that I got such a good closeup of her monkey-like face, so I’m sending 2 pics. Marian Mendez

Hi again Marian,
BugGuide has numerous photos of the Bandwing Dragonlet, Erythrodiplax umbrata, and we agree with your identification. Interestingly, though BugGuide lists it as neotropical and ranging to Southern Florida and Texas, they do have a report from Ohio.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Great shots of Dragonfly
I love your site!!! It is so interesting. I got some great shots of this Dragonfly, it stayed in this spot on my yucca plant for almost 3 hours & didn’t mind me getting in close for some shots. Do you know what type of Dragonfly this is? I live on Long Island in NY. I took the photos on Aug 5th 2008. Also do Dragonflys sting or bite us? Thanks for your help,

Hi Vanessa,
We believe this is a Twelve Spotted Skimmer, Libellula pulchella, though BugGuide does not illustrate any individuals with “broken” wing spots on the lower wings. Dragonflies do not sting nor bite despite the many superstitions indicating that they do. They are sometimes called Devil’s Darning Needles to accompany the superstition that they will sew closed the mouths of lying children.

Correction: (08/08/2008) “Twelve Spotted Skimmer” is actually a Halloween Pennant
I believe the Twelve-Spotted Skimmer you have recently posted is actually a Halloween Pennant, Celithemis eponina. The yellow and brown coloration of the wings are pretty distinctive, as is the pattern of spots. The Twelve-Spotted Skimmer always has clear wings with three black spots on each, and white spots in between them on the males. Here’s a (year-old) picture: Hope this helps!

Another Correction (08/08/2008) mis-identified 12-spotted skimmer
As a daily visitor to your site and avid insect photographer (especially dragonflies), I wanted to let you know that the dragonfly posted yesterday is not a 12-spotted skimmer, but a Halloween Pennant.
Cheryl Rose

And yet another correction: (08/08/2008) Attention: dragonfly ID
This looks like a Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina). See: ; many other good photos online; or and excellent photo on your Dragonfly 2 page (Halloween Pennant Dragonfly with hitch-hiking Mites [12/11/2007]). Regards.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Attention … Bee-like robber fly
Hi Bugman:
I was photographing damselflies this past weekend when this robber fly flew past my face and landed on a nearby leaf. Obviously it was interested in damselflies as well. I don’t think there is a common name for this creature other than bee-like, beeish or bumblebee robber fly in the genus Laphria. I believe this is L. janus, but perhaps you could confirm this for me. The photo was taken along a forest trail in an aspen parkland area of southwest Manitoba. Thanks, and regards.

Hi Karl,
Your Bee-Like Robber Fly is in the genus Laphria, and it doesn’t exactly match any of the species on BugGuide. We tried searching for photos of Laphria janus online but our intermittant connectivity problem returned. When our connectivity returned, we found some support to your identification and we agree this is Laphria janus. A Robber Fly webpage makes this observation: “Note the contrast in the hair color from thorax to abdomen. And note the thoracic hair is not in a triangular and elongate arrangement and it is not spread over the whole thorax. Also note the heavy golden beard and mystax of the female. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Query Damsel Flies mating followed by cannibalism
I was photographing these Eastern Forktail Damselflies (July 25th) and after mating the male appeared to be killing and eating the female. The wings actually fell off. I ‘Googled’ the query Damselfly Mating and Cannibalism and came to your site.
Marlene Walker
Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

Hi Marlene,
We are curious to hear from any experts regarding what we suspect is an unusual phenomenon. Postcoital Cannibalism is not that rare in the world of insects and arthropods since a male sperm donar will also provide a hearty meal for the female who now has the burdon of laying eggs. She needs her nourishment. The role reversal in your Damselfly image would seem to be an anomaly.

Correction: (09/03/2008)
Hello, I am a NY Dragonfly and Damselfly surveyor and am responding to the email below. The damselfly was identified as a male but it is in fact a female Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis). While it is not common for a female to eat the male it is not unheard of. Dragonflies and damselflies are frequently seen eating other dragonflies and damselflies.
Annette Oliveira
Long Island, New York

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination