Fun Dragonhunter Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 31, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Dragonhunter facts are interesting to read.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

The dragonhunter is a kind of dragonfly, belonging to the family Gomphidae, which has other club-tailed dragonflies too. Dragonhunters are endemic to North America and are quite widespread in their natural range. Fortunately, these insects are under no threat of endangerment.

Dragonhunters are quite large in size and have considerably massive wings. Their body has black and yellow markings, with their heads being completely black and face having yellow stripes. The wings of these insects are between 1.8-2.2 in (4.7-5.8 cm) in measurement. Dragonhunters are known to be territorial in nature. They are also quite exceptional at hunting and can gain a lot of speed while catching their prey. While on the hunt, a dragonhunter attacks its prey from above. It tends to bite its prey which proves to be fatal. Dragonhunters feed on many kinds of butterflies and other dragonflies, as well. Larvae can also feed on smaller fishes and amphibians. The larval stage in the life of a dragonhunter is quite dominant and can last for seven years, whereas the adult phase is short-lived and no more than three months in duration. All in all, dragonhunters live up to seven years in the wild.

For more relatable content, check out these grasshopper facts and dragonfly facts pages.

Dragonhunter Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dragonhunter?

The dragonhunter is a form of a club-tailed dragonfly, known for its large size and wings. Club-tailed dragonflies are given this name because of the wide ending of their abdomen, which resembles a club.

What class of animal does a dragonhunter belong to?

Dragonhunters belong to the class Insecta, just like the damselfly. They are a part of the Gomphidae family, which consists of other club-tailed dragonflies or clubtails.

How many dragonhunters are there in the world?

Though the exact population of dragonhunters is not known, these dragonflies appear to be quite common and widespread across their natural range.

Where does a dragonhunter live?

The dragonhunter distribution is limited to North America, making this insect an endemic species. These dragonflies are found quite extensively across the eastern United States in 34 states, and also in five provinces in the southeastern part of Canada.

What is a dragonhunter's habitat?

The dragonhunter habitat is characterized by banks of rivers and streams that have a moderate flow of water. Adult dragonhunters are usually observed to forage near woodlands of waterbodies. In the case of larvae, the habitat includes woodland streams and their edges, along with leaf litter that helps them when camouflaging.

Who do dragonhunters live with?

Dragonhunters are observed to be solitary and they live alone. They are also territorial in nature and are known to defend their territory quite intensely against other dragonhunters.

How long does a dragonhunter live?

The life span of a dragonhunter is usually between four to seven years. Most of their life is spent as larvae, as their adult stage is quite short-lived and does not last for more than three months.

How do they reproduce?

Not a lot of information exists right now about the exact mating patterns of dragonhunters. These insects are expected to be promiscous in nature, meaning male and female dragonhunters have multiple mating partners. Male dragonflies are known to display territorial behavior and showcase any suitable site for egg-laying to the female, so the same can be assumed about dragonhunters.

The breeding period in dragonhunters lasts for three months in the summer. During this time, female dragonhunters deposit several hundred to several thousand eggs on the open water surface, which is then fertilized by the male by injecting its sperm into them. The larvae require no parental care and continue to be in the larval phase of their life for four to seven years.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of dragonhunters is marked as Least Concern by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature or IUCN. These insects seem to be under no threat and do not require conservation measures.  

Dragonhunter Fun Facts

What do dragonhunters look like?

Dragonhunters are a unique species, mainly due to their appearance. They have a black head and face with yellow stripes. Their eyes appear small and green and their body has black and yellow markings, with two prominent yellow stripes on both sides of their thorax. Their abdomen has yellow spots, while the back of the ninth and 10th abdominal segments appear black. The wings of dragonhunters are tinted and have dark visible veins. Dragonhunter larvae have broadly flattened bodies, which help them when camouflaging. The sexes are dimorphic, as the club in the male dragonhunters appears to be curved downwards.

A dragonhunter has yellow spots on its abdomen.

How cute are they?

Since dragonhunters are a form of an insect, not everyone might find them cute. However, they are surely fascinating and an important part of the natural world.

How do they communicate?

The methods of communication in this clubtail dragonfly involve physical and chemical cues. They have papillae at the base of their antennae that help them in communicating with other dragonhunters, through touch sensations and chemical signals.

How big is a dragonhunter?

The dragonhunter size is considerably large when compared to other species of dragonflies. Their body length is between 2.8-3.5 in (7.3-9 cm), with hindwings measuring between 1.8-2.2 in (4.7-5.8 cm). These dragonhunters are significantly larger in comparison to another insect, known as the crane fly that measures between 0.3-1.5 in (0.7-3.8 cm)

How fast can dragonhunters move?

Fully-grown dragonhunters are capable of reaching a speed of 24.8 mph (40 kph) while hunting. On the contrary, the larvae of these dragonflies appear slow and tend to sprawl or hide.

How much does a dragonhunter weigh?

The average weight of a dragonhunter is 0.04 oz (1.2 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female dragonflies of this species are known as male dragonhunters and female dragonhunters, respectively.

What would you call a baby dragonhunter?

A baby dragonhunter is known as a larva or nymph.

What do they eat?

In general, dragonhunters are considered to be insectivores, as their food material consists of several kinds of insects like monarch butterflies, lake darners, swallowtail butterflies, and other species of dragonflies. Larvae of dragonhunters are also capable of feeding on smaller fishes, amphibians, and odonate larvae.

Are they harmful?

There are no instances to suggest that dragonhunters are harmful to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

This species of dragonfly is not really seen as a pet. In general, keeping dragonflies as pets can be quite challenging due to their specific needs and requirements.

Did you know...

Dragonhunters are used to control populations of insects like caddisflies, mayflies, and stoneflies. They are also used to assess whether streams and other water bodies in their habitat are clean.

Do dragonhunters bite?

Dragonhunters are known to have a fatal bite which they use to kill their prey, before eating them. Fortunately, they aren't known to bite humans, unless provoked. It is best to handle these insects with care.

How the dragonhunter different from other dragonflies?

Dragonhunters have two yellow stripes on each side of their thorax, while the plains clubtail has several yellow stripes on every side of its thorax. Even the abdomen in plains clubtails have yellow dashes, and not yellow spots as seen in dragonhunters.

Another species of clubtailed dragonflies, known as the Indian common clubtail, also differ in appearance when compared to dragonhunters. This clubtail species has bluish-gray eyes, unlike dragonhunters that have green eyes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our camel cricket facts and mole cricket facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable grasshopper coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Sports Management, Journalism and Mass Communication

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Moumita DuttaSports Management, Journalism and Mass Communication

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Kidadl Team


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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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