Dragonflies have inhabited the earth for around 300 million years they were around 150million years before dinosaurs
There are known to be 5000 species on earth today.
Their size can vary from
The Dragonfly Life-cycle
Dragonflies start life as aquatic larva which look like ugly bugs called nymphs. They live under the water, often on the bottom of ponds or rivers, shedding their skin around 14 times before they are fully grown. They live as nymphs for most of their lives. Uually 2-4 years. As the nymph grows it starts to find it more difficult to breath in the water and this triggers an instinct to escape the water and climb upwards.
Once out of the water they usually hang on to the stem of a plant. Getting a firm grasp on a stem it starts the transformation into a dragonfly. This process of change is called metamorphosis. It takes just a few hours for the dragonfly to emerge from their nymph shell. Once their wings are fully extended they open for the first & only time to dry. unlike butterflies and damsel flies dragonflies don't close their wings.
The dragonfly's new life is short. It may last seconds if it is spotted while emerging but usually a few days, weeks or months at most if it is not eaten by a bird or killed by another male. But the main priority once transformed, is to find a mate and create the next generation of nymphs.
watch a dragonfly in flight
What does a dragonfly represent.