Dragonfly symbol on a Hopi bowl from Sikyatki archaeological site.For some Native American tribes they represent swiftness and activity, and for the Navajo they symbolize pure water. Dragonflies are a common motif in Zuni pottery; stylized as a double-barred cross, they appear in Hopi rock art and on Pueblo necklaces.
They have also been used in traditional medicine in Japan and China. In some parts of the world they are a food source, eaten either as adults or larvae; in Indonesia, for example, they are caught on poles made sticky with birdlime, then fried in oil as a delicacy.
In the United States dragonflies and damselflies are sought out as a hobby similar to birding and butterflying, known as oding, from the dragonfly's Latin species name, odonata. Oding is especially popular in Texas, where 225 different species of odonates have been observed. With care, and with dry fingers, dragonflies can be handled and released by oders, as can be done with butterflies, though it is not encouraged.
Images of dragonflies are common in Art Nouveau, especially in jewelry designs. They also appear in posters by modern artists such as Maeve Harris. They have also been used as a decorative motif on fabrics and home furnishings. Douglas, a British motorcycle manufacturer based in Bristol, named their innovatively designed post-war 350cc flat twin model, the Dragonfly.
As a seasonal symbol in Japan, the dragonfly is associated with early and late summer and early autumn. Generally, in Japan dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness, and they often appear in art and literature, especially haiku. The love for dragonflies is reflected in the fact that there are traditional names for almost all of the 200 species of dragonflies found in and around Japan. Japanese children catch large dragonflies as a game, using a hair with a small pebble tied to each end, which they throw into the air. The dragonfly mistakes the pebbles for prey, gets tangled in the hair, and is dragged to the ground by the weight. As it symbolizes courage, boys are given the name of "Tonbo", meaning dragonfly. The shape of the archipelago of Japan, as seen on a map, is said to be that of a dragonfly. Hence the leading male character in Kiki's Delivery Service, in a non-Japanese setting, is named "Tonbo" so that the Japanese audience can identify him.
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Ancient dragonflies called Anisozygoptera. Anisoptera were given suborder rank beside the "ancient dragonflies" (Anisozygoptera), which were believed to contain two living species of the genus. Considered intermediate between dragonflies and damselflies, mainly because the hind wings are very similar.
Some dragonflys are very strong and good flyers. In Australia, one was clocked 36 miles per hour. That is fast.
When a dragonfly egg hatches, it can live anywhere from six months to six years, but only about two months as an actual dragonfly.
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