Dragonfly Day Date in the current year: June 8, 2024

Dragonfly Day Dragonfly Day, sometimes referred to as National Dragonfly Day, is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of June. It was created to celebrate fascinating insects that play an important role in ecosystems around the globe.

Dragonflies are flying insects that make up the infraorder Anisoptera below the order Odonata, which also includes damselflies (infraorder Zygoptera). Dragonflies and damselflies are often confused with one another, but there is a way to tell them apart relatively easily. Most damselflies hold their wings folded when at rest, whereas dragonflies’ wings are flat and away from the body. In addition, damselflies have a fluttery flight, while dragonflies are more agile fliers.

There are about 3,000 extant true dragonfly species; most live in the tropics, while fewer species can be found in temperate regions. Dragonflies occur on all continents except for Antarctica. They are widely represented in human culture; interestingly, dragonflies are generally seen as sinister in European folklore, but in Japan, for example, they are a symbol of happiness, strength, and courage.

As predators, dragonflies play an important role in ecosystems: they help control the insect population, especially mosquitoes and agricultural pests. They are also excellent indicators of water health. Dragonfly eggs and nymphs (naiads) develop in water bodies and need clean water to survive to adulthood, so the presence (or absence) of dragonflies is an indicator of the quality of water and ecosystem health in general.

The main threat to dragonflies is habitat destruction and degradation. The situation is especially dire in tropical regions. Unlike the dragonflies of Europe and North America, the majority of tropical dragonfly species have been very little studied, and many of them may become extinct due to rainforest destruction before they have even been properly described and named.

Dragonfly Day originated in the state of New York in 2018, when the New York State Legislature passed the resolution to memorialize Governor Cuomo to proclaim June 9, 2018 as Dragonfly Day in New York State. Since then, Dragonfly Day has been observed every second Saturday of June in New York State and beyond.

Every year, schools, environmental organizations, municipalities and other stakeholders across New York state organize Dragonfly Day events, which include educational presentations, open lectures and workshops, charity walks, art shows and workshops, seed and shoot plantings, various activities for children and teenagers, and more.

If you want to join the celebration of Dragonfly Day, there are many ways to do it even if there are no events near you! You can learn more about the different species of dragonflies, especially those that live near you, and share the facts you’ve learned with others, read about the cultural symbolism of dragonflies, visit a dragonfly exhibition at a museum, go to the nearest lake or pond and take photos of dragonflies in their natural habitat, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #DragonflyDay.

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