Information Dragonflies-Butterflies – Hamilton

Did you know that they eat mosquitoes, have over 20,000 eyes

Wednesday July 18 2012

Dragon Flies so colourful

Wildlife This year at Harbour-front Trail, Cootes Paradise and the great lakes are few and far between.The lack of snow-pack , Spring rains has left the water level three feet less than last year, therefore less wildlife and fewer Images. Last year there was over 12 Signets born in Hamilton Harbour, this year due to the City of Hamilton Oiling Swan eggs and Canadian geese eggs there was only one signet born, all because they say the swans are causing e-Coli Bacteria and making it dangerous for people to swim in the water. I am against the oiling of eggs because the swans sit on the eggs for three Months without any offspring. People complain to the city that there is too much Canadian geese  droppings where they walk. The wildlife was here before us, please leave Mother Nature alone, Humans think they can control everything they come in contact with. Now look at the world we live in, nothing for children too be amazed and nothing to learn, It is like a Silent Spring-Shame- Shame

eight eggs and only one signet-city oils eggs Hamilton.

Readers at pics4twitts send me images quite often, Lois McNaught also walks the Harbour-front trail  Daily and has the same observations as most regulars, “where have all the wildlife gone?”

Morning Hamilton Harbour

Information on dragonflies. Did you know that they eat mosquitoes, have over 20,000 eyes, have been the subject of an old wives tale, and have even been mistaken for fairies? Find out many more interesting fact…

Dragon fly

Dragonflies

Usually living near water, the dragonfly is one of earth’s creatures that are not only very useful, but also beautiful. They belong to thee insect group Odonata. Dragonflies come in varied colors; their bodies often blue, green, purple, and even bronze. Their wings seem to shimmer as if made of silver, especially when under the moonlight.

Dragon fly

Starting out life as small nymphs underwater, they grow to be approximately three inches long, with a wingspan averaging two to five inches in width. While this may seem large for an insect, keep in mind that as they have evolved from pre-historic times, they have gotten considerably smaller. Evidence shows that at one point in time they may have had a wingspan of over two “˜feet’! One very interesting fact of the dragonfly is his six legs. Each of the legs is covered in short bristles. Using their bristle-covered legs to form an oval shaped basket allows them to scoop insects, such as mosquitoes, right out of the air. Dragonflies not only eat mosquitoes; they also keep the fly population and other flying insects under control.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

The Bee and the Butterfly

Surprisingly, dragonflies will spend only a very short part of their life span as actual dragonflies. They will live as nymphs for up to four years, shedding their skin up to fifteen times, yet when they finally mature into adults, the dragonfly stage, they will survive only a few months.

Mangrove Tree Nymph

Gray catbird

Dragonflies have fascinated modern man for years. They have become the basis of both legends and old wives tales. One such old wives tale refers to a dragonfly as a “˜darning needle’. An old legend tells of people who would wake up after falling asleep outside to find their ears and eyes sewn shut by these crafty insects. If dragonflies were seen swarming over a doorway, it was said to foretell of heavy rains on the way.

Painted Lady Butterfly on Coneflower

Painted butterfly.

For as long as man and dragonflies have coexisted, people have mistaken dragonflies for fairies. “˜Fairy tales’ have been told of little people fluttering about worldwide. Upon closer inspection, the fairies are found to be groups of dragonflies.

Question Mark Butterfly

Facts about Dragonflies

How fast can dragonflies fly? In excess of sixty miles and hour!

How many eyes does a dragonfly have? They have two main eyes, but each of these eyes are made up of approximately 20,000 to 25,000 tinier eyes, allowing them to zero in on the flying insects that are their daily meals.

Post and image Doug Worrall

Doug Worrall

 Photos by Lois McNaught
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3 responses to “Information Dragonflies-Butterflies – Hamilton

  1. Didn’t know the dragonflies ate mosquitoes since I usually see them on the lantana booms, but am thrilled to discover that fact. There’s a feast of mosquitoes hatching after 8 days of rain here ( maybe why the dragonflies suddenly seem to be everywhere?)
    Some of the best shots I’ve seen of their lacy wings. (That “gold” one is outstanding)
    I’ll leave the butterfly shots to you also – love the “painted” and the Mangrove ones – nice color and textures
    So sad about the Swan nest this year. We hear the same complaints about assorted water fowl …but these are their heritage migratory areas and some effort should be made to accommodate them.
    Pix definitely worth the wait. Thanks for sharing

  2. I was surprised also that they eat Mosquito’s, The Abundance definitely signifies that there are plenty of the itchy bugs.Mute swans were introduced in 1958 too Southern Ontario, therefore they are a feral species which do eat the submersive vegetation.The fisherman do not like that, they are slightly aggressive protecting there young, so the majority of people in our parks are users and Consumers and Litterers, I have a very Pessimistic view regarding Heavy handed control of our ecosystem, which is best to be left alone when Special interest groups only care about “Their” one issue, not the whole PICTURE.

    Thank you and you are welcome Philosopher