How can you easily say THAT is a dragonfly or THAT is a Demoiselle? read on.....
Dragonflies belong to the order of insects known as Odonota, which are divided into two major subgroups: the Anisoptera (dragonflies) and the Zygoptera – (damselflies).
It is quite easy to distinguish between the 2 subgroups, in these 3 easy steps: 1. Is it small and delicate? The majority of damselflies are much smaller and finer than the larger, bigger dragonflies. See the pictures below to help you. 2. Is there a gap between its eyes? Dragonfly eyes touch, whereas demoiselles have a greater distance between their eyes.
3. At rest demoiselles keep their wings along their body, whilst dragonfly wings generally stick out sideways.
These pictures are of demoiselles:
For comparison these two pictures are of Dragonflies:
In Hong Kong, insect diversity is very high; since the first local record was made in 1854,
a total number of 118 dragonfly species, including two endemic species, have been
recorded in Hong Kong. Interestingly, Hong Kong is home to the smallest dragonfly and
the smallest damselfly in the world (respectively Nannophyapygmaea and
So, with your new found knowledge, and without looking at the labels, are these demoiselles or dragonflies?
To see parts I, II, & III in this series please see my earlier blogs.