Dragonflies are insects in the sub-order Anisoptera (meaning “unequal-winged”). In Great Britain and Ireland there are about 30 species that may be encountered.
The term ‘dragonflies’ is sometimes used for the whole scientific order Odonata that also includes the sub-order Zygoptera (damselflies).
Characteristics of True Dragonflies
Body: Large and robust.
Wings: Hind wings are usually shorter and broader than the forewings.
Eyes: Very large and usually touch at the top of the head.
Image by Ken Dolbear
Title image: Black Darter by Iain Leach