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Old 06-16-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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Default Dragonflies and US

Throughout the world, as humans encroach on wetland environments dragonflies are threatened.

Learn more about these beneficial insects and if you see them do what you can to protect them.

http://www.mass.gov/dcr/watersupply/watershed/documents/downstream_15.pdf

Quote:

Summer days lie ahead. Many of us will find
ourselves outside enjoying nature at a pond, on a
river, or near some other water feature. More
often that not we won’t find ourselves alone.
Insects of all kinds will pay us a visit to see what
we are all about. Some are pests, but others will
merely capture our attention as they go about
their daily business. Two such creatures are
dragonflies and damselflies. They tend to be
bold, sometimes friendly, wishing to hitch a ride
on the bow of your canoe or the top of your
shoulder. This can make the squeamish jump, but
these daring creatures almost always escape
unscathed. The adventurer who can resist the
urge to react will have the opportunity to observe
an amazing array of colors and patterns these
creatures display. And while each of them may
have certain “fashion” appeal, all of them live a
very unique life and are voracious predators for
many of the aforementioned pests.

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Old 06-16-2010, 10:12 AM   #2
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dragonfly01

Dragonflies and US-dscf3658.jpg
I'm definitely a dragon lover!
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:21 PM   #3
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if you have them its a sign that the environment where you are is healthier than most.

Ive only ever seen one here -- in my greenhouse.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:29 PM   #4
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John and I named the pond the 'Blue Dasher Pond' in honor of the blue dasher dragonflies that live and breed there. What fun to watch them dart and dash about the yard!

I also raise dragons and damsels in my classroom. We had a black meadow hawk emerge the other day!
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:36 AM   #5
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Bridget1964. That is really exciting.

How do you do that? Do you get eggs/larvae from the wild or is there a source for them? Would it be possible to start some on your property for example? Do they need a water source to thrive?
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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Hazelnut: I have ordered dragons from Carolina Biological Supplies, but they were very expensive and many of them died. My students and I net them from the swamp near our school. They are relatively easy to find near the edges of fresh water. Yes, they need a water source to survive and thrive.

I keep them in fish tanks in the classroom. Right now I have four tanks of varying sizes. I use water from the swamp and a bubbler for oxygenating the water. Do not use a fish filter as you do not want to filter anything out of the pond water.

For smaller dragonfly and damselfly nymphs or naiads, I feed them live brine shrimp that I get in a local pet store. I have also given them daphnia and mosquito larvae. For larger dragons, I raise guppies. A large dragonfly, like a green darner can eat a few guppy fry a day!!

I have started the dragonflies 'accidentally' from eggs once. We brought in some pond plants and put them in the aquarium as an experiment to see if the dragonflies had laid eggs on them. They had! And a few months later, there were dozens of green darner nymphs swimming around the 30 gallon tank! Little by little, they ate each other, and I was down to two. One died while emerging. I believe he fell back in the tank and drowned. The other successfully emerged in our room and flew all over until I netted him!

If you want to know more, please feel free to write again. There really isn't a lot of information out there on raising dragonflies, so most of what I know I learned through trial and error.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:18 AM   #7
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Sounds like a worthwhile project for anyone with water to sustain the dragonflies.

I was misting in my greenhouse I guess that's why one showed up there.

I don't have any permanent water here, just an intermittent stream.

Here is a photo gallery.

(click on photographer's name)
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