On hot summer evenings near lakes and rivers, sometimes you see a fast little whiz go by you. Dragonfly? Damselfly? I have heard both of these terms used interchangeably. "They are the same thing, aren't they? I heard a friend say last week. I answered, "I don't think so, but I am not sure of the difference."
So, we had to look it up.
No, they are not the same. They both belong to the order odonata ... we've brgun talking about how animals and insects are classified and some of the latin words are really fun to say...like odonata.
Because both the damselfly and the dragonfly belong to the order odonata, they have the following things in common:
- Both have large heads and eyes compared to their bodies.
- Both have two pairs of wings with lots of veins visible
- A long thin abdomen
However, there are differences between the two.
- Dragonfly eggs are round. Damselfly eggs are cylindrical.
- Dragonflies are faster.
- Damselflies have hinges enabling them to fold their wings together behind them when resting, dragonflies do not. Dragonflies hold their wings open and to the side when at rest.
- Dragonflies are larger and fatter in most cases.
Can you guess with photo above is the dragonfly and which is the damselfly?
Yes, the top photo is the dragonfly and the bottom one is the damselfly.