Some are under the impression that the world “damselfly” is just another word for dragonfly, but this is not the case, as dragonflies and damselflies are two distinct organisms. However, the two insects are similar enough in appearance for entomologists to place them within the same order, which, in the case of dragonflies and damselflies, is Odonata. However, there are many similarities between these two flying bugs. In fact, damselflies and dragonflies are sometimes mixed-up by experts because there are only a few features that give away the proper identity of these insects. In order to properly identify any insect species, you will want to examine the insect’s eyes, body shape, wing shape, and the location of the wings.
Dragonflies have larger eyes than damselflies. The eyes of a damselfly are still large, though, as their eyes nearly cover the entire front of their heads. The eyes of a dragonfly, on the other hand, do not even leave a gap in between the two eyes. However, it could take a microscope to make this distinction. Dragonflies also have bulkier bodies than damselflies. A dragonflies’ body, compared to a damselfly, is short and stocky. The damselfly can have a body that is as narrow as a twig, but dragonflies are always noticeably bulkier than damselflies.
Both of these insects possess two different sets of wings, but the shapes of their wings are different. Dragonflies possess wings that are broad at the base of their bodies, while the upper wings are narrower. Damselflies are quite different in that all of their wings are the same size. When dragonflies are at rest they will position their wings so that they are perpendicular to the dragonflies’ body, but damselflies don’t position their wings this way while at rest. Instead damselflies will fold their wings across their backs like a cross. Now I am not sure if I have been seeing dragonflies all my life, or damselflies.
After reading this do you think that a few of the dragonflies that you have seen in the past many have been damselflies?