Have you ever heard of a damselfly?
Don’t worry if you haven’t. The damselfly doesn’t get a lot of press.
Even if you’ve heard the word, you might have thought a damselfly is simply a female version of a dragonfly. I used to be guilty of that myself.
Dragonflies and damselflies do have a lot in common. They are both classified in the same insect order (Odonata), but dragonflies are in the suborder Anisoptera; damselflies in Zygoptera. I don’t have the dragonfly/damselfly breakdown, but about 6,000 odonate species exist worldwide.
Enough with the boring left-brained stuff. Here’s why my heart buzzed for the damselfly and inspired its choice for my logo and business name (Damselwings Press):
Space Efficiency: Damselflies perch with their wings tucked together along their backs, whereas dragonflies perch with their wings open wide. In other words, Damselflies don’t hog more room than they need, appealing to my economist and Feng Shui-friendly sensibilities.
Smarter-looking eyes: Along with perched wing placement, the eyes are the second biggest distinguisher between dragonflies and damselflies. Damselflies’ eyes are set on either side of their head, not touching, sort of like a hammerhead shark’s eyes. Dragonflies’ eyes are bigger and meet in the middle of the forehead, giving them a Neanderthal (and in my view, less intelligent) look. Both have spectacular eyesight, however, with almost 360-degree vision.
Nicer to each other: Dragonflies are cannibals, indiscriminately eating their own species even if other food sources are available. Damselflies are carnivorous predators too, but they don’t eat each other nearly as often as dragonflies do. Mosquitoes are a favorite food source for both dragonflies and damselflies (cannibalism is a turnoff, but mosquito-eating is OK in my book).
Speed (or lack thereof): Dragonflies zip about at breakneck speed, with some species able to fly 40 miles an hour. That’s impressive, but since my running (and living) motto is “Slow is the New Fast,” I prefer the damselfly’s more relaxed pace. Rather than flying fast and straight, damselflies flutter and float, sometimes looking a little bit drunk. But they still reach their target. And they’ve survived for 250 million years.
And that’s why the damselfly is my kind of bug.
Didn’t my talented friend Doris Ličan Milošević do a fantastic job creating my damselfly logo? I couldn’t be happier with it!!