Both dragonflies and damselflies belong to the order Odonata. Worldwide there are 5000 species that come in a variety of sizes and colors and patterns. They can be anywhere from less than an inch to 5 inches long. Impressive insects the dragonfly's head can move freely and the wings can move independently giving this creature the capability of both forward and backward flight.
The lifecycle is interesting. The female lays her eggs on or near water. Dragonfly nymphs or naiads are voracious predators and are very beneficial insects as a prime source of food are mosquitoes. Nymphs do not look like the adults and when ready to metamorphose they come out of the water and the adult form breaks out of the skin.
Some dragonflies can inflict a painful bite using their sharp biting mouthparts. A myth about dragonflies is that they sew up lips and ears, which is completely false but a reason for the name darner. The dragonfly aliform shown above really moves its wings.