Dragonflies and damselflies belong to an order of insects called Odonata, and are characterized by two pairs of wings, slender body parts, large compound eyes, and a heavily toothed lower jaw, which is used to capture and hold prey. In their larval stage, all Odonata are restricted to water, and Muskoka's multitude of lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, beaver ponds, and bogs provide plenty of habitat for a rich diversity of species. Although their larval stages are restricted to water, as adults, dragonflies in particular, can stray far from water and you can find these flying jewels in almost every habitat in Muskoka.
110 species of Odonata have been recorded in Muskoka - 77 species of dragonflies and 33 species of damselflies. View and print the Checklist of the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Muskoka here
Dragonflies, which have hind wings that are distinctly larger and differently shaped than their forewings, hold their wings horizontally when at rest. Damselflies have two pairs of wings that are similar in size and shape, but they are usually held together behind their body when at rest. The eyes of most dragonflies, with the exception of clubtails, are not in contact with each other, while the eyes of damselflies are always separate.