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

Nationally Important:

Endangered:              Norfolk Hawker            White-faced Darter

Vulnerable:                Azure Hawker               Brilliant Emerald

Near threatened:     Northern Emerald        Scarce Chaser           Common Clubtail


Title image: Black Darter by Iain Leach