Note: The INDEX is with Rocky Mountains, USA. You will have a list of nearly 90 posts about wildlife. Information free of adverts.
Photographs by John Solomon, 2020.
Dragonflies are aquatic during their immature stages. Locally, they live in fairly still freshwater. The immatures, like the adults, are fiercely carnivorous and in garden ponds can ‘mop up’ many of the smaller forms of life.
The invertebrates have an incomplete metamorphosis, with the immatures looking largely as the adults but lacking wings and colour.
Adult dragonflies hunt on the wing using their exceptionally acute eyesight and strong, agile flight. They are almost exclusively carnivorous, eating a wide variety of insects ranging from small midges and mosquitoes to butterflies, moths, damselflies, and smaller dragonflies. A large prey item is subdued by being bitten on the head and is carried by the legs to a perch. Here, the wings are discarded and the prey usually ingested head first. A dragonfly may consume as much as a fifth of its body weight in prey per day. Dragonflies are also some of the insect world’s most efficient hunters, catching up to 95% of the prey they pursue.
The larvae are voracious predators, eating most living things that are smaller than they are. Their staple diet is mostly bloodworms and other insect larvae, but they also feed on tadpoles and small fish. A few species, especially those that live in temporary waters, are likely to leave the water to feed. Nymphs of Cordulegaster bidentata sometimes hunt small arthropods on the ground at night, while some species in the Anax genus have even been observed leaping out of the water to attack and kill full-grown tree frogs.
From Wikipedia, and, yes, I do give them money!