Dragonflies and Damselflies

Like most places in the tropics, Liberia hosts many insect species. The country is home to 199 species of dragonflies and damselflies alone! Dragonflies and damselflies are different only in the way the adults hold their wings, with adult dragonflies holding their wings away from their bodies (abdomen), and adult damselflies folding their wings close to their bodies (abdomen). Both belong to the Order Odonata.  

 

Dragonflies and Damselflies are perhaps best known for their unusual (and helpful) diet of mosquitoes and other harmful small insects. These majestic insects are usually found around freshwater because their young are hatched in water. They can be found around lakes, streams, creeks, and wetlands.

New species are continually recorded, with 7 new ones most recently discovered in Liberia in 2015. A list of these 199 species obtained from the Odonata Database of Africa is shown here. Dragonflies and Damselflies found in other African countries can be found on the site as well.

Sources:

Kipping, J., Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Clausnitzer, V., Suhling, F. & Schütte, K. (2009): Odonata Database of Africa (ODA). – Agrion 13: 20–23.

Clausnitzer, V., Koch, R., Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Boudot, J.-P., Kipping, J., Samraoui B., Samways M.J., Simaika J.P. & Suhling F. (2012): Focus on African freshwaters: hotspots of dragonfly diversity and conservation concern. – Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment DOI:10.1890/110247.