Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Dragonflies

As a child do you remember how certain things seemed to be bigger than they really were? Well, I do, my room, crabs, chocolate bars they all look massive to me as a child! Well, one thing I will always remember is when I saw my first ever Dragonfly, it was MASSIVE! But unlike the rest of the things I poorly remember the other day I saw a dragonfly once again besides a pond and it was just as big as I remembered them! So it inspired me to find out a little more about these amazing creatures as I bring you…

Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Dragonflies

BONUS CONTENT: Top 10 Facts About Dragonflies

Magenta Dragonfly - Trithemis aurora
Magenta Dragonfly – Trithemis aurora

10 – Magenta Dragonfly The skimmers or perchers and their relatives from the Libellulidae, the largest dragonfly family in the world. It is sometimes considered to contain the Corduliidae as the subfamily Corduliinae and the Macromiidae as the subfamily Macromiinae. Even if these are excluded (as Silsby does), there still remains a family of over 1000 species. With nearly worldwide distribution, these are almost certainly the most often seen of all dragonflies.

The Beautiful Demoiselle - Calopteryx virgo
The Beautiful Demoiselle – Calopteryx virgo

9 – The Beautiful Demoiselle

Wiki Info: As with the banded demoiselle is also in the blue wing-demoiselle a pronounced territorial behaviour of sexually mature males. These days occupy territories that they defend against other males. The defence consists mostly of threatening gestures. For this they spread their wings and put them on display so clearly visible, there is also Drohflügen and in rare cases to air combat between rival males.

Scarlet Dwarf - Nannophya pygmaea
Scarlet Dwarf – Nannophya pygmaea

8 – Scarlet Dwarf

Wiki Info: annophya pygmaea, known variously as the Scarlet Dwarf, Northern Pygmyfly, or Tiny Dragonfly, is a dragonfly of the family Libellulidae, native from Southeast Asia to China and Japan, occasionally found south to Australia. This species has the distinction of being the smallest of the dragonflies, with a wingspan of only 20 mm (3/4 in).

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Cordulegaster boltonii
Golden-ringed Dragonfly – Cordulegaster boltonii

7 – Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Wiki Info: They are easily identified by their distinctive black and yellow stripes, which no other dragonfly in the United Kingdom has. They are often seen flying leisurely over mountain streams or a river; they also occasionally show up at a pond. They are also typically seen flying over heathland. Their bright yellow and black stripes make them easy to identify, even from a fair distance away.

Ebony Jewelwing - Calopteryx maculata
Ebony Jewelwing – Calopteryx maculata

6 – Ebony Jewelwing

Wiki Info: They are often seen living near wooded streams and rivers. Ebony Jewelwings flutter like a butterfly and when disturbed they fly a short distance to safety. These damselflies are easy to get close to as long as you approach slowly and don’t make any sudden movements. They will often stop to rest on leaves or twigs.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer - Libellula pulchella
Twelve-spotted Skimmer – Libellula pulchella

5 – Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Wiki Info: It is a large species, at 50 mm (2.0 in) long. Each wing has three brown spots. In adult males, additional white spots form between the brown ones and at the bases of the hindwings; it is sometimes called the Ten-spot Skimmer for the number of these white spots.

Golden-winged Skimmer - Libellula needhami
Golden-winged Skimmer – Libellula needhami

4 – Golden-winged Skimmer This is not Needham’s Skimmer that is extremely similar (only found near the coast). The best way to separate from Needham’s is to note pattern on side of thorax (see images at left, males in left-hand column and females in right): In Golden-winged the line between the dark (upper and more forward) colour follows the humeral suture (the break in pieces of side of thorax). In females and young males, this is easy, but can be tough in older males (see lower left). In Needham’s this line does not follow the suture and goes forward about halfway down.

Blue Riverdamsel - Pseudagrion microcephalum
Blue Riverdamsel – Pseudagrion microcephalum

3 – Blue Riverdamsel

Wiki Info: The Blue Riverdamsel is a common species damselfly in the Coenagrionidae family. It is also known as the Blue Sprite. They grow to 38mm in length. This species can easily be found near running water or still water.

Grizzled Pintail - Acisoma panorpoides
Grizzled Pintail – Acisoma panorpoides

2 – Grizzled Pintail

Wiki Info: Acisoma panorpoides, the Grizzled Pintail, is a species of dragonfly in family Libellulidae. It is found in various places throughout the world. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, rivers, intermittent rivers, shrub-dominated wetlands, swamps, freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, and freshwater spring.

Sapphire Flutterer, Lesser Blue-wing - Rhyothemis triangularis
Sapphire Flutterer, Lesser Blue-wing – Rhyothemis triangularis

1 – Sapphire Flutterer, Lesser Blue-wing

Wiki Info: Rhyothemis triangularis, the Sapphire Flutterer, is one of the smallest species of Rhyothemis. This blue dragonfly is found on ponds, lakes and other lotic habitats. It differs from Rhyothemis resplendens, another blue species on the more extensive blue marking on the wings of the later species.

130 thoughts on “Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Dragonflies”

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  3. I got to see a Golden-ringed Dragonfly while in the lake district the other week. It was near a small pond and there was loads of them. Good post by the way Russell.

  4. Those Blue Riverdamsels are quite common here in the UK, most riversides have an abundance of them.

  5. Did you know that their name is from the Greek word “ανισος anisos” meaning “uneven wings” well you do now.

  6. I have actually held some of these Dragonflies at a buttery and insect farm. it was surprising heavy!

  7. I am looking forward to the dragonflies here soon. We have massive amounts and I <3 them. That little red one is so cute. The lesser blue wing looks huge, but it states it is small also. It is unique looking. We have the blue river damsel here and some others.

  8. we all have feelings from our childhood that stay with us into our adulthood…they really are very gentle creatures…I don’t know about all Dragonflies, but the ones around here don’t bite…I’ve had many land on me when I was outside, working, reading, whatever… 🙂

  9. I didn’t go in expecting to agree or argue either on something that’s purely opinion 😉 I’d arrange some of these differently, actually, but I definitely agree with your #1 and 2 and wanted to thank you for sharing them. I’ve never seen dragonflies like that before!

  10. Well that is the thing with my blog it is only my opinion of a top 10 so we can all talk about how we would have arranged them, but good to hear you kind of agree with me.

  11. Dragonflies are my favourite! When you showed the ebony jewelwing early I didn’t expect to agree with your order but numbers one and two are stunning!

  12. Leaves me in awe of the beauty in nature,,,especially on an icy wintery storm day like today. Thank you for bringing beauty into our day and taking the time to add info on these beautiful creatures.

  13. Fabulous Russell. Bit of a cheat though; dragonflies are so beautiful you could pick any 10 photographs and they’d still be a knockout.
    I saw butterflies in China that were about the size of a Havana cigar. You’re right. Dragonflies are still the same size as they were when we were children. Unlike sodding Wagon Wheels.

  14. Yeah I know! Nor did I until I started looking them up. Sadly for me I never know how good a top 10 will look until I start looking the images up. Sometimes it works and sadly sometimes it fails.

  15. What a great comment, thank you. There are many different creatures out there in the world that are very beautiful so have plenty to bring you yet. (might well run out one day)

  16. Yeah I know what you are talking about, and closer to Christmas I will be going Christmas top 10 mad! And I have made a note of your comment so I might well do a top 10 on it. (With a little credit going to you as well)

  17. Oooh! I love dragonflies. They are so gorgeous. These shots are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing Russell. 🙂

  18. Gorgeous pics! I like them all. My wife are always hunting dragonflies so we can shoot them…with a camera. We’ve gotten a pic of the Magenta and the Twelve-spotted, and the River Damsel. Many more on top of that. Dragonflies are endlessly entertaining.

  19. They are nice and you just reminded me of when you are a kid how things just are huge small to the adult but big for a child. The first thought in my mind, maybe you can do a top 10 here, is Santa Claus. A young kid sitting on a huge, loud mouth, old mans lap. Riding around on a sleigh pulled by flying deers. Asking you what you want for Christmas. The one day when you get more presents then any other. I could not get my kid to voluntarly do Santa without crying for 4 years. I notice it in the other younger kids too. But we make them to get that santa picture.

    Sorry just not an insect person myself.

  20. Love this one! I got dragonflies tatooed on my leg last year! There is a whole story behind it, the very very short version is that after my brother’s funeral in 2007, a huge dragonfly kept circleing around his grave all day. They mean a lot to me – thank you for this post!

  21. Now these are beautiful photos. It’s so difficult to get a good photo of a dragonfly because they move so quickly. I managed to get a nice one while we were holidaying on Fraser Island last week but only because the dragonfly chose to land on a piece of timber right next to me. I used it in my colours post.

  22. I absolutely love the Magenta and Demoiselle. They are so beautiful that they take my breath away. How such a tiny creature can be so complex and colorful is beyond me. God sure knows how to create beautiful things. Please never stop sharing with us.

  23. I have cousins living in France and every year when I was a kid my family would get the ferry from Dover and drive down over 2 days to stay with them. One year when I was really little, on the ferry deck halfway to France we found an emperor dragonfly hitching a lift. It was the first dragonfly I’d ever seen up close and it looked so big and brightly coloured and beautiful. I could have sat watching it forever.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂 it’s always nice to see a post from you.

  24. I always thought there was just what looked like somewhat black ones I see here. Who knew they are so beautiful! I love the iridescence on several of them and definitely, the Sapphire Flutterer. Nature has such deep rich colors in all creatures, so amazing.

  25. Imagine if you could go back to say the Carboniferous and documents some of the huge dragonflies and other meganeura flying about back then.

    These are still cool, though 🙂

  26. That’s probably true. But the body kind of gives it away that it couldn’t be a butterfly though. If there’s anything I memorized when determining if it’s a butterfly or a dragonfly it’s the body. Your posts are really great btw.

  27. Wow! I didn’t know there were so many types of butterflies! Cool to know, and beautiful pictures of them!

Which one did you like?