Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Bluet Dragonfly August 22, 2011

I saw this dragonfly recently and snapped this picture so I could remember what it looked like. I’ve never seen one like it before.

bluet_dragonfly | | paula bonelli(clicking photo will enlarge it for a better view)

I’m surprised I even saw it since it’s nearly transparent. I believe it’s a Bluet, but all the pictures I could find show the body with blue stripes. And this little critter only has blue on the tip of his tail.

I’m intrigued by what birds, backyard wildlife and insects abound in any given year. Some years, tons of butterflies, like in 2009 when the red admirals were so many they couldn’t be counted! Never since.

red admiral butterfly | | paula bonelli

And this year, there are so many dragonflies – and some are huge, rivaling the size of a hummingbird.

Here’s a few facts about dragonflies I didn’t know:

  • tells us that…a dragonfly’s scientific name is Odonta, which comes from the words “tooth-jawed” because the entomologist (insect scientist), Johann Christian Fabricius, who named them studied the dragonflies’ mouths in order to distinguish the different species. Now their wings are studied as well to classify dragonflies. Other names for dragonflies around the world are water dipper in England, old glassy in China (this is my favorite!), and the ancient Celts called dragonflies big needle of wings.
  • 450 of the species can be found in the United States – no wonder I can’t find the exact name for the one I saw.
  • In Brandon Cornett’s Facts About Dragonflies fact sheet, he tells us that their primary food source is mosquitoes. Bring on the dragonflies. 🙂 He also reports that like mosquitoes, the dragonfly lays their eggs on or near the water and the largest dragonfly fossil (one of the earliest) had a wingspan of nearly three feet. That makes it the largest flying insect in known history.

They are fascinating insects. The next time you see one, stop and enjoy their beauty.


References: These facts were compiled from widely available information online about dragonfly species. I also referred to the Web sites and


One Response to “Bluet Dragonfly”

  1. […] Have you seen some cool dragonflies? What’s been hanging around your yard? Maybe a Twelve-spotted Skimmer, a Green Darner or a Widow Skimmer? Or maybe a Meadowhawk or Bluet? […]

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