Ames Free Library

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A Glimpse of Nature -- Dragonflies and Damselflies

Dragonflies have been among the library’s most conspicuous animals during July – if you’ve been outside long enough to notice them! This summer’s scorching heat sometimes leaves me immobilized, but the dragonflies, and their relatives, the damselflies, keep on going.  In fact, they need warmth and sunlight to fly.  Consider this description from Dragonflies of Northern Virginia:  “most dragonflies could be described as flying solar panels – without direct sunlight they cease to fully function.”  While I am sure there is an upper limit to their temperature tolerance, they apparently can handle heat better than humans.  Drought is another matter.  Their eggs and larvae need water for their development.

I urge you to spend time observing these marvelous insects while we’re still in the height of summer.  To get in the mood (and the habit of observing small details), take our “Dragonflies and Damselflies” quiz.  Like our previous matching games, it is a linked Google form.  You get six multiple choice questions, pretty photos, and an answer key.  You could even take the quiz inside a cool house . . . but do go outside for a little while.




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Submitted by Louis John on

as usual, very interesting ... another great subject.

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