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End Of Summer Is Prime Time For Dragonflies

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(credit: CBS) Jennifer Mayerle
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – You may have noticed an increase of a certain insect recently. A large number of dragonflies are common during the end of summer, and experts say this year is no exception.

They are acrobatic and fast flyers.

“They’re pretty,” Kate Peterson said.

Cousins Kate and Sam Gray mostly see dragonflies near water and when they’re at the park.

“I just like when they buzz around you. It makes me feel good that they’re there,” Sam Gray said.

“They really just seemed to be everywhere,” Dave Anderson said.

Anderson’s 5-year-old also loves dragonflies.

“We go to the park and my daughter seems to find the dragonflies more interesting than the swings or the slides,” Anderson said.

Entomologist Jeff Hahn, with the University of Minnesota Extension, said it’s common to see more dragonflies during this time of year.

“This is just kind of a prime time for them to be out. All their populations are at their highest point right now. They’re large for the most part, conspicuous, brightly colored, and kind of like butterflies. They’re going to draw our attention,” Hahn said.

Hahn said dragonflies are predators. They prey on flies, moths, beetles, or whatever they catch on their wing. But he said don’t worry, they won’t come after people.

“Sometimes people see those long abdomens, and they see that big head and they think maybe they’ll sting us or bite us. But they are harmless,” Hahn said.

One misconception is that dragonflies eat a lot of mosquitoes. Hahn said dragonflies are around during the day, while mosquitoes are out during dusk. So while they are predators, they don’t help much with the mosquito population.

 

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