As ubiquitous to summer as mosquitoes or fireflies, dragonflies are large-bodied insects with wide, transparent wings. The insects begin their lives in the water, where the dragonfly larvae eat the larvae of other insects, especially mosquitoes. This continues throughout a dragonfly's life cycle -- other food sources include flies, moths and even other dragonflies. The dragonfly's legs are arranged in a basket shape, meaning it can catch other insects while in flight. Depending on the species, dragonflies live for about six months up to six or seven years. Catching them can prove a challenge cause of their good eyesight.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Dark-coloured net
Observe dragonflies in the area and note if they fly near one area in particular. Position yourself in that area, but slightly behind where they are flying or hovering. If possible, position your body among greenery for camouflage.
Hold the net still extended slightly outward from your body with the opening tilted up. This cuts down on the necessary movement, making it less likely the dragonfly will see you swing the net.
Swing the net from behind and under the dragonfly to capture it. This catches the dragonfly off guard and gives it less time to evade capture.
Tips and warnings
- For best results, use a dark-coloured net with about an 18-inch diameter opening. The darker colour is harder for dragonflies to see than a white net, while the large opening increases your chances of catching the fast-moving insects.
- Protect yourself from insect stings and bites while chasing dragonflies by wearing long clothing and insect repellent.
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