Skip to main content
Select Source:

Damselflies

Damselflies

Order: Odonata

Suborder: Zygoptera

Life Cycle: incomplete

Three Life Stages: egg, nymph, and adult

Life Span: anywhere from 2-4 years

Nymph

Body Description

Antennae: none

Eyes: very large, compound on small head, as wide or wider than thorax

Wings: 2 pair pads

Thorax: short and larger

Gills: 3 large distinctive paddlelike tails that are actually gills

Abdomen: long and slender, no gills, plumes or other projections on thorax or abdomen

Mouth: appendages tucked under the head

Legs: 6 long

Body Colors: olives and browns, lighter body

Mobility: side to side wiggling motion like a tadpole

Size: 1-1 ½

Adult

Body Description

Antennae: none visible

Eyes: large, on top of head, eyes are spaced the size of an eye

Tail: none

Wings: 2 pairs, equal in size. Each has a distinctive narrow yolk or stalk at base of thorax. When at rest they are folded over and appear to be one

Abdomen: long and slender, segmented

Legs: short and crowded, weak

Body Colors: olives, greens, blues and black

Mobility: very graceful, extremely fast fliers

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Damselflies." Fly Fishing: The Lifetime Sport. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Damselflies." Fly Fishing: The Lifetime Sport. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/local-interest/sports-fitness-recreation-and-leisure-magazines/damselflies

"Damselflies." Fly Fishing: The Lifetime Sport. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/local-interest/sports-fitness-recreation-and-leisure-magazines/damselflies

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

damselflies

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"damselflies." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"damselflies." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/damselflies

"damselflies." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/damselflies

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Damselflies

Damselflies

Damselflies are the smaller and more delicate members of the insect order Odonata, which includes the dragonflies. The damselfly suborder Zygoptera is characterized by similar fore and hind wings, which are both narrow at the base. Most damselflies can be easily distinguished from their larger and heavier dragonfly relatives in the field by their fluttering flight, and when at rest by their holding their wings up vertically or in a V-position when at rest.

Damselflies are usually found sitting on overhanging branches or other objects near water. They feed on small flying insects such as mosquitoes and gnats, which they catch in flight.

Although most damselflies are small and very slender, many have brightly colored bodies. The males are usually more colorful than the females, and often have spots or markings of vivid blue, green, or yellow.

Damselflies have a worldwide distribution. One of the larger and more conspicuous species in North America, found on shaded bushes overhanging small streams, is the black-winged damselfly (Calopterix maculata ). The male of this species has all-black wings and a metallic-green body, whereas the female has gray wings with a small white dot (stigma) near the tip.

Damselflies mate on the wing in the same unusual fashion as dragonflies, and lay their eggs in the water. The eggs hatch into wingless larvae, called naiads, that remain on the bottom of the pond or stream. The damselflies larvae feed on smaller insect larvae and other aquatic animals. Damselfly larvae resemble dragonfly larvae except for the three leaflike gills at the end of the body.

These beautiful, delicate animals neither sting nor bite. Indeed, damselflies help to control the disease-carrying mosquitoes and biting midges.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Damselflies." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Damselflies." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/damselflies

"Damselflies." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/damselflies

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Damselflies

Damselflies

Damselflies are the smaller and more delicate members of the insect order Odonata, which includes the dragonflies . The damselfly suborder Zygoptera is characterized by similar fore and hind wings, which are both narrow at the base. Most damselflies can be easily distinguished from their larger and heavier dragonfly relatives in the field by their fluttering flight, and when at rest by their holding their wings up vertically or in a V-position when at rest.

Damselflies are usually found sitting on overhanging branches or other objects near water . They feed on small flying insects such as mosquitoes and gnats, which they catch in flight.

Although most damselflies are small and very slender, many have brightly colored bodies. The males are usually more colorful than the females, and often have spots or markings of vivid blue, green, or yellow.

Damselflies have a worldwide distribution. One of the larger and more conspicuous species in North America , found on shaded bushes overhanging small streams, is the black-winged damselfly (Calopterix maculata). The male of this species has all-black wings and a metallic-green body, whereas the female has gray wings with a small white dot (stigma) near the tip.

Damselflies mate on the wing in the same unusual fashion as dragonflies, and lay their eggs in the water. The eggs hatch into wingless larvae, called naiads, that remain on the bottom of the pond or stream. The damselflies larvae feed on smaller insect larvae and other aquatic animals. Damselfly larvae resemble dragonfly larvae except for the three leaf-like gills at the end of the body.

These beautiful, delicate animals neither sting nor bite. Indeed, damselflies help to control the disease-carrying mosquitoes and biting midges.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Damselflies." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Damselflies." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/damselflies-0

"Damselflies." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/damselflies-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.