Insects within the Order Odonata are commonly called the dragonflies and damselflies. They are often large and conspicuous insects and can be found patrolling territories above ponds and other water bodies.

Both the adults and larvae are predators. The adults often catch prey on the wing and the larvae ambush other aquatic organisms.

Some of the commonly used ways to tell dragonflies and damselflies apart include:

  1. Dragonflies have fore and hind wings that differ in shape. The fore and hind wings of damselflies are very similar in shape.
  2. At rest, a dragonfly will hold its wings open. A damselfly holds its wings together above the body.
  3. Dragonflies have eyes that touch or almost touch, damselflies have eyes that are far apart on the head.
A photograph of an adult male Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly (_Libellula depressa_).

A photograph of an adult male Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly (Libellula depressa).

A photograph of a male Common Blue Damselfly (_Enallagma cyathigerum_).

A male Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

Other names for (or types of) Odonata include:

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