Dragonfly, Damselfly, Insect Flight

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Insect flight from a engineering perspective is immensely interesting, as well as from the physiology, evolution, or other aspects.

dragon fly Sympetrum flaveolum side 19428
A dragonfly. Yellow-winged Darter. Photo by André Karwath. image source
dragonfly mating anax junius 74518
dragonfly mating. Male is on top. [image source 2017-04-22 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Img_041538_mating_anax_junius.jpg ]
dragonfly Orthetrum cancellatum 00529
A dragonfly. Female Black-tailed Skimmer. image source
damsel fly Emerald spreadwing 42487
Damselfly. Emerald Spreadwing Damselfly. Photo by Bruce Marlin. image source
bluetail damselfly 2007 10 osaka japan 53125

Dragonfly action in slow motion
Sky Hunters, The World of the Dragonfly - The Secrets of Nature

ladybug taking off

ladybug taking off

stag beetle taking off

giant stag beetle taking off

Between dragonflies and damselflies, the dragons have more menacing look, and damsels more cute, as their names imply. Both are exceedingly beautiful and elegant. In SF Bay area in California, i don't think i've ever seen a dragonfly or damselfly. Though, i think i've seen them once when i traveled to mid USA. In Taiwan, there are lots of both. It's not uncommon to see them mating. I recall, when i was pre-teen in Taiwan, during a particular season, there are swam of dragonflies in the apartment park where my grandma (father's mom) resides. And, me and my brother used to pick tree twigs as swords to hit them. (they would fall on the ground often with their giant heads severed.)