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Giant Dragonfly
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laphipOffline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 03:59    Post subject: Giant Dragonfly Reply with quote

Have there been many giant dragonfly sightings?

When I was around nine years old me and my two sisters watched a dragonfly with a body about half a metre long circle around our backyard just above the height of our bungalow (in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). When we told our mom about it, she just said it must've been a toy plane shaped like a dragonfly. It looked quite naturally an insect to me, and it made no sound. Would a dragonfly of that size make or not make noise in flight? Can toy remote controlled planes be soundless?
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nickedoff12Offline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 12:33    Post subject: I Remember a Moth Reply with quote

My father used to tell us stories about a huge moth that he saw frequently while camping.

The moth was nearly as big as his hand, he says, and scared the hell out of him when he first found it.

I've skimmed through google and found a picture of an Atlas Moth, of which, even though we have no such species in my parts, a few sightings have been reported.

I've also found a website with a few large insects on it:

Giants of the Insect World
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caroleaswasOffline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 15:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

This site reckons the largest dragonfly existing today is around 7.5" wingspan.

Things sometimes seem bigger to kids, laphip, and you saw it above your bungalow. Are you sure you didn't get your perspectives mixed up?

Carole
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caroleaswasOffline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 15:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re Nickedoff's story of a huge moth, please refer to a previous thread, here.

Carole
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oll_lewisOffline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 19:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen a large dragonflys before, I live near a large country park with 2 huge lakes and extensive reed beds so if there were an ideal place for dragonfly and damselfly spotting, thats it (you can tell the difference between the 2 by observing how it holds its wings when resting, if it can flod its wings back along its body it's a damsel).

The largest dragonfly I observed was in Cosmeston Lakes Country park had a wingspan of at least 1/2 a meter skimming over the surface of the lake about 3 metres from the bank. It was brownish yellow in colour and apart from its size quite unremakable. I have also seen a lot of large damselflys, which are now a regular sighting every time we have a hot summer. Was it a paticully long hot summer when you saw your large dragonfly, Laphip?
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evilsproutOffline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 19:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest one I've seen must have had a body-length of about 9 or 10 inches. But I was a kid at the time so...
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CallMeKenneth
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 20:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

The largest dragonfly in the UK is the Emperor, with a wingspan of up to 150mm, and a body length of up to 84mm. Formerly found only in the south of the country, they have spread northwards (global warming?), and are a regular sight on Teesside, where I live.
I work as a Nature Reserve warden, and in my experience, most people routinely over-estimate the size of large insects. I frequently meet people on my site who tell me they have just seen a dragonfly with a wingspan of at least 8-9 inches, and are surprised when I tell them that the largest ones found here are approx. half that size. Children in particular will give wildly exaggerated estimates of size, so this may explain the reports of giant dragonflies.

Unless of course, Meganeura, with a 600mm+ wingspan, has survived from the Carboniferous Period...
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evilsproutOffline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 20:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure I've seen ones longer than that...! Mind you I was about 12 at the time, and a bit scared of flying insects, so that might explain my exageration.

But still, my middle finger's roughly 84m... I'm sure it was way longer than that.
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oll_lewisOffline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2004 20:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

CallMeKenneth wrote:

The largest dragonfly in the UK is the Emperor, with a wingspan of up to 150mm, and a body length of up to 84mm. Formerly found only in the south of the country, they have spread northwards (global warming?), and are a regular sight on Teesside, where I live.
I work as a Nature Reserve warden, and in my experience, most people routinely over-estimate the size of large insects. I frequently meet people on my site who tell me they have just seen a dragonfly with a wingspan of at least 8-9 inches, and are surprised when I tell them that the largest ones found here are approx. half that size. Children in particular will give wildly exaggerated estimates of size, so this may explain the reports of giant dragonflies.

Unless of course, Meganeura, with a 600mm+ wingspan, has survived from the Carboniferous Period...


Thats more or less what my professer of entimology at uni said (professor ian hodgekinson) but he was interested because as we actully gauge sises of insects quite well from feild trips and stuff he knew I was unlikely to be over estimatingthe size. It was a monster.
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CavynautOffline
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PostPosted: 28-07-2004 19:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife and two of my daughters have just seen a dragonfly which they say was about six inches long! What's even more surprising is that we live in the inner city, and there ain't many reedbeds around here!

There again, I saw a squirrel run across a road in the centre of Hull yesterday teatime. Smile
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Ronson8Offline
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PostPosted: 28-07-2004 20:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw what I took to be some kind of dragonfly in our garden today, it was about six centimetres long and was black with black wings, any ideas what it might have been?
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laphipOffline
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PostPosted: 29-07-2004 01:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see it as entirely possible my perspective was skewed, but its size was bafflingly significant compared to regular dragonflies.

I can't recall if the summer was in a hot swing, but it was July 25 (my sister's birthday).
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CavynautOffline
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PostPosted: 29-07-2004 23:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord_Flashheart wrote:


The largest dragonfly I observed was in Cosmeston Lakes Country park had a wingspan of at least 1/2 a meter skimming over the surface of the lake about 3 metres from the bank. It was brownish yellow in colour and apart from its size quite unremakable.


The nymph must've been a hell of a size.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 31-07-2004 13:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cavynaut wrote:

The nymph must've been a hell of a size.
no larger than a meganeura's I'm sure!
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CallMeKenneth
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PostPosted: 31-07-2004 17:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete Younger wrote:

Saw what I took to be some kind of dragonfly in our garden today, it was about six centimetres long and was black with black wings, any ideas what it might have been?


Sounds like a Beautiful Demoiselle, a type of damselfly.
The British Dragonfly Society, at http://www.dragonflysoc.org.uk/frameset.htm?home&home
has plenty of info & pictures
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