Among insects, dragonflies are among the largest flying bugs. In fact, the dragonfly’s prehistoric ancestor Meganeura was one of the largest insects ever known with a wingspan that exceeded 70 cm.
Fossil records show it lived as far back as 300 million years ago during the Triassic period and was a predator species that fed on other insects. Today’s dragonfly species (Odanata), while not nearly as large, can boast a wingspan of nearly 20 cm and body length of about 12 cm.
On the extremely small end, the tinniest dragonfly is the scarlet dwarf (Nannophya pygmaea).
It’s also known as the northern pygmyfly or tiny dragonfly. Part of the Libellulidae family of dragonflies, the scarlet dwarf’s native geography stretches from Southeast Asia to China and Japan. It’s occasionally found in Australia.
The dragonfly’s wingspan measures roughly 20 mm or three-quarters of an inch.
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