COLUMBUS, Ohio – Everyone who has spent time during the summer months near water has seen dragonflies and damselflies dashing and darting in search of prey. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, these fascinating creatures are found near all unpolluted water bodies – whether a river, stream, lake, marsh, swamp, bog, fen, or even temporary rain pool – while demonstrating their amazing aerial acrobatics.
A recent comprehensive survey found at least 170 dragonflies and damselflies species in Ohio. These amazing creatures are unmatched in their flying abilities. They can fly forward, backward, and any other direction at lightning speed as they chase their prey, which consists of other flying insects such as flies and mosquitos. Widely distributed but often unidentified, dragonflies and damselflies are important indicator species signaling the health of a wetland or waterway.
Ohioans can help dragonflies, damselflies, and other native Ohio wildlife by donating all or a portion of this year’s state income tax refund. By making a tax donation to the Wildlife Diversity Fund, Ohioans are helping to ensure the future of Ohio’s ecosystems, from native habitats and landscapes to endangered plant and wildlife species.
Funds from the tax donation program go directly to projects that protect Ohio’s wildlife. Individuals may donate by entering a dollar amount for “Wildlife Species” on line 26d of the 2020 IT 1040 tax form. Contributions made on the 2020 tax return and filed in 2021 are considered deductible donations made in 2021.
Dragonflies and damselflies have a unique and delicate life cycle that is almost completely reliant on water. Eggs are deposited into water, saturated soil, or on aquatic plants. The larvae, also called nymphs, are highly predatory and completely aquatic, depending on clean water sources for their survival. Some species stay in this life phase for up to four years before crawling out of the water and transforming into an adult. To learn more about these amazing animals and how to find and identify them, download the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ohio Field Guide at wildohio.gov.
Because dragonflies and damselflies are dependent on high-quality aquatic and wetland habitat throughout their life cycles, conserving these spaces is key to ensuring their continued success. Wetlands are vital for filtering water, absorbing pollutants, managing flooding, and supporting wildlife.
The Division of Wildlife is responsible for conserving and improving fish and wildlife resources in the Buckeye State. Follow the Division of Wildlife on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information, and so much more. The Your Wild Ohio Explorer page provides wildlife success stories and ways to help wildlife throughout the seasons. Visit wildohio.gov to find locations to hunt, fish, trap, and view wildlife. Follow us on Instagram to view the best of Ohio’s wildlife photography. And don’t forget about the HuntFish OH mobile app, available for Android and iOS users through the app store.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.