What Do Dragonflies Eat And Drink?

What Do Dragonflies Eat And Drink? [2024 Food Guide]

In today’s article, I will be talking about “What do dragonflies eat and What do dragonflies drink?”. How Do They Eat or Drink? Talking about the drinking habit, the adult dragonflies get the water from the food they eat. However, they still drink water from dew droplets and different surfaces. Tiny nymphs feed on small aquatic invertebrates. However, as they grow, they start eating large invertebrates and tadpoles, and small fishes. 

9 Items Dragonfly mostly feeds on

  1. Midges
  2. Mosquitos
  3. Bees
  4. Butterflies
  5. Flies
  6. Moths
  7. Mayflies
  8. Gnats
  9. Other dragonflies
What Do Dragonflies Eat And Drink?

How do dragonflies eat?

Dragonflies eat food with their jaws, munch it when it is still alive and swallow it down. This is similar to how we eat(excluding the living part, of course!) However, a dragonfly’s jaw is quite different from a mammal’s, having different components like mandibles that are used to grasp and tear the food.

How do dragonflies drink water?

Dragonflies drink water with their mouths. However, many human beings see them dipping the tips of their tails into the water and assume this might be a manner that they are able to drink. But, this is simply the female dragonflies laying their eggs.

Interestingly dragonfly larvae can breathe via their anus and use the control of the water they launch to propel themselves through their aquatic environment. However, they no longer absorb water to drink in this manner.

Is a dragonfly a carnivore?

Dragonflies are completely carnivorous, which means that they consume meat and only meat. Since they’re so small, they generally tend to consume different bugs which are smaller than them or that they can effortlessly trap. They generally tend to move for different flying bugs as they’re also airborne most of the time.

Dragonflies are infamous hunters and could consume up to their own body weight in different bugs throughout the day.

Dragonfly larvae are just as huge of eaters as their parents. A dragonfly larva will hunt out and consume different larvae which are in the water with the. This continues until they’re capable of taking flight and capturing different flying bugs.

Dragonfly Hunting Techniques

Dragonfly larvae hunt and consume beetles, worms, tadpoles, mosquito larvae, or even worms. In a few cases, extremely big larvae of large species may even consume very small fish.

The jaw of a dragonfly larva could be very flexible and has hooks on it that assist to capture the meals as it passes. They lay in wait and as their prey swims past, the lower jaw shoots out and catches it, and attracts it back into the mouth. For

Adult dragonflies, the search is a bit simpler. They fly and open their mouths to eat their prey mid-flight. If they have got a bigger prey, they may use their legs to assist hold it whilst they bite chunks.

Dragonflies are identical in terms of hunting. They will actually hunt and consume anything that they discover that isn’t larger than them. Dragonfly generally tends to stalk their prey earlier than they consume it. They will consume whenever and wherever they can.

Can dragonflies eat grass?

As we already discussed, dragonflies are carnivores. This means that they only eat meat. They commonly feed on small insects like flies and mosquitos.

Dragonflies don’t eat plants like grass. However, as they mostly reside in rushes and grasses, we may have a misconception that they feed on them.

Can dragonflies eat ants?

These little creatures can obviously eat ants. In fact, they will definitely do it if they find an ant colony or flying ants.

However, they mostly roam in the air, so it is less possible scenario to see a dragonfly eating a floor ant.  

Do dragonflies eat grasshoppers?

Yes. It is fairly possible to see a dragonfly eating a grasshopper. As they have wings, they follow insects like mosquitoes, mayflies, midges, damselflies, and other adult dragonflies. Dragonflies may also eat wasps, butterflies, and bees, depending on the species. 

Do dragonflies eat nymphs?

Dragonfly nymphs live underwater and feed on invertebrates, small fishes, and tadpoles. Once the nymphs are grown up, they just live for a few months. This time is enough for them to breed and lay eggs. Birds like hobbies and merlins usually eat adult dragonflies. 

Do dragonflies eat mosquitoes?

Yes. Dragonflies do eat mosquitoes. They are a great mosquito control technique. Every single dragonfly can effortlessly eat around 30-100 mosquitoes per day.

Do dragonflies eat spiders?

The reality is that sometimes the dragonfly gets the spider and sometimes the spider gets the dragonfly. The organizations can come across every other in all types of situations.

For example, aquatic spiders can also additionally meet dragonfly larvae underwater, whilst younger spiders ballooning may come across dragonflies as they swoop through the air. And of course, a dragonfly can also additionally meet a spider because it hangs out on its web.

With these diverse potential meetings, who’s the prey and who’s the predator will rely in particular on size and confidence. The large adversary is possibly to be the winner, with a dragonfly larva probably gobbling up a diving spider or a grownup dragonfly turning into trapped in a spider’s web.

Do dragonflies eat aphids?

Dragonflies are unfussy eaters. If it is an animal smaller than them and they could get hold of it they may be unlikely to turn it down. Aphids, therefore, who are often smaller than dragonflies, and extraordinarily common, are perfect meals for these voracious hunters.

The most probable time for aphids to be stuck is whilst they are shifting to a brand new plant, as they fly through the air to get to the subsequent feasible food source.

At this level, though they are largely feeding directly on a plant, and not likely to be struck by a passing dragonfly, except it decides to glean them immediately off the leaf they are feeding on.

Do dragonflies eat roaches?

We have mentioned that dragonflies are carnivorous animals. They can devour bugs that might be just like them in size. They will hunt for whatever bugs that they are able to capture and devour. 

Roaches aren’t a part of the overall diet of the dragonflies. However, cockroaches are a part of the flying bugs and can appeal to dragonflies. There are only a few bugs that grown-up dragonflies won’t devour.

This occurs in particular if they’re larger than the dragonflies. Once a dragonfly eyes an insect, it’ll hunt them down. Baby dragonflies begin with smaller bugs and eggs.

Once they are adults, ingesting a roach isn’t always large trouble for those species. If they are able to catch the insect, they’ll devour the insect. Simple as that.

How do dragonflies catch their prey?

The way dragonflies move can also additionally appear absolutely random to us. However, those amazing bugs genuinely hunt with cause and use cunning to seize their prey.

Interestingly specific species of dragonflies regularly use different kinds of hunting to get their food.


Gleaning is a way that involves soaring over leaves and flora in order to grab up the tasty bugs perching there. Dragonflies are amazing fliers and are capable of hovering or maybe flying backward when required. Gleaning is generally used by clubtails and damselfly species, who’re a close relative of dragonflies.


Hawking is a totally common method, wherein dragonflies fly back and forth to seize prey as they pass by, both with their hands or their mouths. Extraordinarily agile fliers, it’s quite tough for prey to break out a hawking dragonfly as soon as it has them in its sights.

It has even been discovered that dragonflies can plan their attacks, anticipating wherein their prey will head next and intercepting them. Species like southern hawkers generally use this method.


Sallying is a way used by species including skimmers; that is wherein a dragonfly perches and looks for prey before darting out to seize it. You will notice dragonflies who use this method perching on a twig or leaf and then darting unexpectedly out earlier than perching again.


It is quite obvious that dragonflies need to eat and drink in order to survive through the different stages of life. They usually eat almost all types of small invertebrates but mosquitoes, moths, and flies are their favorite. Also, they drink water from small dew droplets or surfaces.