Image Credit: Elizabeth and Desmond L. taken in Bon Echo Provincial Park, ON
Image Credit: Raya A. from New Canaan, CT
A long abdomen and bright orange body contrasts with the natural habitat of Orange Meadowhawks making it easier to spot them in the wild.
A boldly colored genus of dragonflies, Orange Meadowhawks can be found on grasses and reeds in ponds, streams and lakes. They also venture away from water sources and have been spotted in drier places like fields and meadows. Adult Meadowhawks eat small insects like flies, mosquitoes, moths, ants, and mayflies. Naiads (juveniles) are aquatic, remaining underwater after hatching where they feed on small crustaceans, aquatic insects, and detritus. They look nothing like adults dragonflies. Naiads lack wings, have short alligator-like bodies, and large pincers for jaws that they use while constantly eating. When they have developed enough to molt, naiads leave the water and come on land. After molting again, they develop into winged adults.
The presence of Dragonflies in a body of water is usually a sign of a clean, healthy ecosystem. Naiads are somewhat sensitive to pollution, which can cripple their ability to mature into adults. Sighting many adults reflects a clean and healthy breeding area.
Scientific Name: Sympetrum spp.
Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 72mm (1.37in to 2.81in)
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