Can Dragonflies Sting?

The dragonfly, a large airplane-shaped insect that skims across the surface of lakes, ponds, and rivers surely looks dangerous, with a long, thin “stinger” in the back of its body.

But the dragonfly cannot sting. The “stinger” is actually the slender rear part of its body. The only creatures that have to worry about the dragonfly are the mosquitoes and gnats that form its diet.

The dragonfly is among the best flyers on earth. Some kinds remain in the air almost all day long without landing on anything, and can also remain in one spot, or hover, which few other insects can.

Today, the largest dragonflies in America are eight inches long, with a wingspan of seven inches. But in prehistoric times, some dragonflies were two feet across with their wings extended!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

9 thoughts on “Can Dragonflies Sting?”

  1. Wether it be a sting or a bite I had a massive allergic reation to a dragon fly so I really dont belive they are harmless as all I was doing was stood as a young child in a que for face paiting!!!!

    Why is everyone saying they are harmless when quite clearly they are not.

  2. Why is everyone saying they are harmless? Just one possible explanation is that it wasn’t a dragonfly that you had a reaction to. It would be easy to mistake a wasp for one. Anyhow, with the way human perception works it’s too late to know – once it was decided it was a dragon fly, it becomes fact.

  3. Because they are harmless, don’t blame the dragonfly for your inferior genetics. I saved one recently from a spider web and it sat perched on my finger for a good 10 minutes while I carefully picked the remaining webs off of it. No bites or erratic behavior, they’re probably one of the best insects to have around, as they eat mosquitoes.

  4. I have held Dragonfly’s too and had a look around the web too see if they were able to bite.
    Google people they most definitely are able to bite!
    Please don’t disbelieve the story’s above they most likely were bitten.
    I don’t know if they have anything to be allergic to but all bites can bring on cellulitis..
    The article must be right that they can’t sting but they can bite (all though I’ve never had a problem with an OPEN palm). I would prefer the term mostly harmless, my dog is mostly harmless but if you haven’t been introduced and you stand on his tail he may bite and if you are prone to infection from skin tares etc be careful.

  5. The truth is that dragonflies are one of a kind, it looks very beautiful, i mean the ones from india and they are not harmful they don’t bite they don’t sting, I think I love them more than other insects.

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