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Dragons of Hong Kong

There are 118 Dragonfly species in Hong Kong, (that is four times the amount in the UK and almost the same as the whole of Europe), including two endemic species, since first local records started.

The Manis mnene demoiselle, perched for flight.

Hong Kong is also home to the smallest dragonfly and damselfly in the world. European myths saw dragonflies as agents of the devil, but in Asia dragonflies are often revered; cultural symbols of courage, prosperity and harmony. They may look aggressive, with twitching mouthparts and a curled sting like tale, but they are quite harmless. In many Asian countries I have seen small children catch them by the body behind the wings and then “fly” them, like brilliant miniature kites, using cotton thread tied around the thorax or legs. Here we have a hatching dragonfly; The common Blue Marsh Skimmer, (orthetrum luzonicum) in the middle, mating with the yellow female. And on the right the fulvous forest skimmer (Neurothemis fulvia).

In England, George Cayley was inspired by the Chinese bamboo dragonfly toy to create his design of propellors. This in turn led to inspiration for Western designers working on the first helicopters. 360 degree vision means they are excellent predators and they can eat food equal to their own weight in thirty minutes. Their diet consists of other small insects and flies. They are also a tasty snack for humans, farmed and eaten in both in Indonesia and Chin

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