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Dragonflies of our Parks and Gardens

Dragonflies are brilliantly and beautifully coloured: different species appear in different colours and patterns. Their territorial, courtship and hunting behaviours are all executed with superb manoeuvrability in flight.

Dragonflies are synonymous with wetlands, just like butterflies are synonymous to flower gardens. Unlike mosquitoes or midges, they do not bite or sting, and are in fact totally harmless to humans. As such, it is not difficult to appreciate the vibrancy and colour which a healthy dragonfly population can bring to ponds or wetlands, where many common species can easily be observed.

The situation in Singapore is unique. Rare species of dragonflies still exist in the nature reserves, while the more common ones have adapted to ponds and wetlands in our parks and gardens. Some of the ponds in our parks have become refuges for rare species, and other well-vegetated ponds harbour almost a quarter of the total species that exist in Singapore.

Different parks have ecologically different water bodies due to their different vegetation structures and pond sizes, and thus support different dragonfly communities. Hence, urban parks play a very crucial role in conserving Singapore’s dragonflies.

To help you to observe and understand the dragonflies better, we have developed a series of interesting worksheets for teachers, students and parents. We hope that you will find these resources useful.

Information can also be found in the book “Dragonflies of our Parks and Gardens”, published by NParks. The book is available at the Garden Shop and the Library Shop at Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Did you know...

  • Dragonflies are very ancient insects. Their ancestors can be traced back to the Carboniferous period during the Palaeozoic era about 300 million years ago.
  • Being carnivorous, dragonflies are the main predators of smaller insects that may cause harm to humans, most notably mosquitoes.
  • In South Africa, dragonfly adults and larvae are used as bio-indicators to monitor the health of wetland ecosystems.

Worksheets for Primary Level

   Students Teachers
 Dragonflies and Damselflies    

Worksheets for Secondary Level

   Students Teachers
 Damselflies and Dragonflies    

Last updated on 15 January 2015

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