Much like the tourists that are known to flock to Virginia Beach in the summer times, dragonflies stream there in droves as well. The insects, true aerial experts, zoom here and there, low over yards and streets.
When not performing their favorite flying stunts, they perch on fences, branches, just about anywhere they can to take a well-deserved rest. As they rest, they are highly alert to everything that is going on around them.
They keep their large eyes peeled, as they are easy pickings for most larger animals, with birds being their biggest predator. But, safety is not the only thing that they keep an eye out for—as they are always on the lookout for their next meal.
Once they do spy their next tasty morsel, they will launch themselves, grab their food, and most often return to their previous perch to both rest and wait for their next victim. As if more often the case, than not, the tasty meal in question is usually a mosquito.
According to a previously published article in the Smithsonian magazine, dragonflies are estimated to eat anywhere from 30 to up to hundreds of mosquitoes in the course of each and every day. Although mosquitoes do seem to be their food of choice, they are an equal opportunity insect eater none the less.
When the springs are overly wet from rain, dragonflies will be more proliferate. The reason being that with the wet, warm conditions also come the mosquitoes. With the sudden influx of food, dragonflies are offered a virtual smorgasbord. And there is a second advantage to all the rain, in that dragonflies, much like mosquitoes, lay their eggs in water.
There are thousands of species worldwide of dragonflies, and an excellent book to look to for the beginner is “Stokes Beginner’s Guide To Dragonflies.”