Giant Dragonfly

Enormous dragonflies used to live in swamps millions of years ago in the Jurassic period. Their fossils have been found in many places in Europe that tell us of their vast size.

Dinosaurs were born to the earth and died out from it, plants and birds and vast continents were born, and still the giant dragonfly didn’t die out.

Although it is no longer as widely spread as it once was, the Giant Dragonfly still remains apart of the fauna of the world today, a remnant of ancient days.
Several species still survive, three in Australia, one in Japan, two in North America.

Giant Dragonfly
Giant Dragonfly

The Australian species inhabit the rainforests of the north, near Queensland and near Perth in swampy areas.

With a wing-span of about 5 inches, and a large thick body that can be as fat as a thumb, this dragonfly weighs more than some birds.

This is indeed a very unique dragonfly, even if it were not so large.
The adults of this type are not good fliers, probably due to the excessive weight of them, however, not necessarily so.

A night they roost in trees, rather like a large flightless turkey might do, and by day they will perch on vegetation or hang from branches to feed.

They do fly upward to grab a meal, and once in a while fly the breadth of their territory, or fly to mate.
Other than this they remain largely ground bound, or tree bound as it were.

The larvae which come of the matings are extremely long living and are very slow to grow and mature.

At night and during rainy weather they will eat at the surface, but the rest of the time they go back to a burrow where they live, a long passage that has its opening above the water. They float on the top to gather food and then return to the burrow again.

These dragonflies will also last ten years as adult dragonflies, but when you add the larval stage they may have a lifespan of well over twenty years.

  • heather

    today at 230pm i saw one of thim dragon flys and omg it wus soo big it wus right in my yard here in harrison michgian

  • joanne margaret dunham

    im from bay area california and i seen one the other night next to the porch light it was making the loudest noise and when i seen what it was i about was sooooo dam big!! i put off looking it up on the net because i just couldnt belive what i saw. but now i belive i did see that monster for real!!!

  • melanie

    i never seen a big dragonfly but i would love to.

  • britany

    dragonflies like this shouldnt be on the planet at all they are scary

  • Sara

    I really enjoy the facts about the giant dragonfly I didnt know their life spand was so long, intresting!

  • Marcos and Siriani

    Hi there, we just saw one last night. (5/29/09) in our home in central Phoenix, Arizona I was sleping when my wife started yelling about something really big flying inside our kitchen. She had the patio door open and she had the bright lights of the kitchen on. We captured it (dragonfly unhurt) and we release it in the backyard. We have never seen anything like it. It was huge and the body was as thick as my wife’s index finger. The wingspan about 8 inches. Beautiful

  • Donna

    I killed a giant dragonfly before I knew what it was, I feel bad but it was
    Incredible over 12 inches long easily and so heavy and strong, and a lot
    scary because it was so large and it whipped its abdomen around and sprayed fluid from it.

  • Butterfly Angel

    I live here in a small city in Alberta,Canada. In the middle of it we have a man made lake. Why are these Insects so endangered? I see around 10 of them everyday just around town. There beautiful yes, But they are vishious. We had one bite and take a huge Chunk of flesh. the ones here are avraged around 5 inch wingspan and 3 inch body aprx. I have one in my Kitchen as we speak just looking at it. Its stormy weather so Ill place it out when the weather is nice. The ones here range from black with blue strips to these devilish blood red colors. but still wounder why there endangered theres a million here. they just started showing up around 3 years ago.

  • Phil

    We have a bunch flying around outside of where I work.. I never thought I’d ever see them that big! It was a bit scary at first when you turn around and see one heading right for you.

  • kyndalll

    that is gross

  • william churchill

    I once took a picture of one on my window cill,
    I messured it to be 21 inches long U.K

  • Isis

    At 3:50pm, June 21, 2010 I was in my backyard in Lakeland, Florida and I saw a huge dragonfly! It was about the size of a chopstick. I didn’t know what it was at first. I was scared, shocked and surprised. I wish I could see one again and study it more closely. I think they’re very interesting.

  • Rohn Baker

    Today 8/25/10 at 2:20pm Oak Park, MI…my wife stepped out the back door and startled what she described as a dragon fly. When she decribed the size I couldn’t believe they could grow that big (her description was 6″ wing span and about 12-14″ long. She said the girth was as big as her index finger! Since I’de never seen one that big I started serching the internet right away and found this site. WOW:-)

  • Amanda

    There is one of these in my house right now. Upstate New York, Catskills region.

  • chrissy

    me and my son saw a giant dragonfly in devon, its wing was stuck from a spiders web, i took the web off, its body was thicker than my finger and im a adult, the colour were so bright blues and greens, it was an amazing sight to see, and im pleased to say once the web was off , it was able to fly, and enjoy its chance of life,

  • jamie pc

    me and my mum was up town in Devon . when we saw a huge giant dragonfly it was bright blue yellow green it had spikes in its legs it had already flyed into a spider web . it had bent its wing and we fixed it

  • Wes

    I was buzzed by a giant dragonfly as a kid in Brooks, Alberta (Canada). I thought it was a bird at first. Had to have a length over 10 inches, similar wingspan and girth of over half an inch. I later found out I wasn’t crazy because my step-mom found one on the ceiling of her beauty-salon. She went running out on to the street.

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