Dragonfly, Damselfly, Insect Flight

By Xah Lee. Date:

Insect flight from a engineering perspective is immensely interesting, as well as from the physiology, evolution, or other aspects. And, i love dragonflies. Look at the dragonfly wikip entries: beautiful photography.

A dragonfly. Yellow-winged Darter. Photo by André Karwath. image source
A dragonfly. Female Black-tailed Skimmer. image source
Damselfly. Beautiful Demoiselle. Photo by Florence Nibart-Devouard. Used under GNU Free Documentation License. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Libellule2.JPG
Emerald Spreadwing
Damselfly. Emerald Spreadwing Damselfly. Photo by Bruce Marlin. image source

Between dragonflies and damselflies, the dragons have more menacing look, and damsels more cute, as their names imply. Both are exceedingly beautiful and elegant. In SF Bay area in California, i don't think i've ever seen a dragonfly or damselfly. Though, i think i've seen them once when i traveled to mid USA. In Taiwan, there are lots of both. It's not uncommon to see them mating. I recall, when i was pre-teen in Taiwan, during a particular season, there are swam of dragonflies in the apartment park where my grandma (father's mom) resides. And, me and my brother used to pick tree twigs as swords to hit them. (they would fall on the ground often with their giant heads severed.)