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Damselfly vs. Dragonfly

Damselflies and dragonflies comprise the two different suborders of the order Odonata. The damselfly belongs to the suborder Zygoptera while the dragonfly belongs to the suborder Anisoptera. Both are predatory insects which feast on smaller bugs like gnats and mosquitoes.

There are four primary differences between dragonflies and damselflies. First, the most obvious difference is that damselflies’ wings fold back along their body when at rest whereas the dragonflies’ wings stay outstretched, perpendicular to their body. The dragonflies’ eyes are significantly larger than the damselfly. Dragonflies have bigger bodies, and the wings of the two Odonata suborders are differ slightly in shape.

The lake that I lived on as a child is frequented by both the Damselfly and the Dragonfly. I’ve included pictures of both of them below. Can you tell the difference between the two?


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Written by Chris B.

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