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BENEFITS OF DRAGONFLIES                     

Since odonates are around water a good portion of their adult and larvae life, they have proved to be useful to man as bio-indicators.  They give us valuable information as to the health of an ecosystem or watershed.  Since odonates have varying levels of tolerance to pollution and habitat alteration, their presence, absence or decreased populations can indicate a specific problem within an ecosystem, such as pesticides and sediments infiltrating rivers, streams and other wetlands from agriculture, deforestation or industry.

con-mosquitoUsing odonate larvae to control mosquito larvae populations has proved to be an effective and safer way of eliminating insect pests.  Since odonates larvae are carnivores with varacous appetites they can consume a good number of tasty mosquito larvae in a very short time, thus eliminating more of the harsher methods such as noxious chemical sprays. Perhaps more of a benefit to man is the role of the adult dragonfly in keeping mosquito, midges, flies and other annoying insect populations down.  Mosquitos in some areas of North America  transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus, Dengue and Dog Heart Worm.  So dragonflies are doing us a favor by consuming these insects.  

Whether we like to think of it or not, odonates are a vital food source for countless other species such as other insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and fish and "yes" even man.  In many parts of the world people use insects as a major source of food and dragonflies happen to be one of the insects that fall into this category.

Odonates have indirectly contributed to the designs of military and commercial aircraft.  For decades Aeronautical Engineers have studied the aerodynamics of dragonfly flight (air flows) and applied their findings to creating new wing designs.   

What school child does not benefit from watching a dragonfly develop from a small larvae into a beautiful adult. We can all learn the theory of incomplete metamorphosis from a science textbook, but the benefits of learning hands-on far out ways what any text can teach you and further creates an appreciation for the world around us.  

 

 

 

© 2018 Sheryl Chacon Search