Bloody Wings : Dragonfly !!

by Anand Khandelwal March. 11, 2011 1550 views

Had taken this picture during my late night wanderings around the hostel. The lighting wasn't good enough but with some editing, I felt I came up with an image which might represent dragonflies and their reputation! During the editing process, it struck me that over all these years, I never bothered to find out why they're called so! So, I did.

It seems that even zoologists and historians have not been able to find a definitive answer to this question. One interesting theory about its origin, however, can be found in a book written by Eden Emanuel Sarot in 1958 entitled Folklore of the Dragonfly: A Linguistic Approach. He theorized that the name dragonfly actually came about because of an ancient Romanian folktale. In the folktale, the Devil turned a beautiful horse ridden by St. George into a giant, flying insect. The Romanian names the people supposedly referred to this giant insect (when translated into English) mean ‘St. George’s Horse’ or, more commonly, ‘Devil’s Horse.’ According to Sarot, the peasantry of that time actually viewed the Devil’s Horse as a giant fly and that they may have started referring to it as the ‘Devil’s Fly’ (instead of Devil’s Horse). He stated that the Romanian word for Devil was “drac,” but that drac was also the Romanian word for dragon. He thought that eventually the Romanian name for the Devil’s Fly was erroneously translated to the English Dragon Fly and this eventually evolved into the “dragonfly!” But then again, its just a theory ;)

PS : Dragonflies do not bite or sting. Even if you somehow make them do it forcefully, they would not be able to break through the human skin! In fact, they are even known to be attracted to humans just out of curiosity. (which when I first came to know, made my quest to find out more about them pretty ironic) Anyway, there is absolutely no reason to be afraid of dragonflies.

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Varun Rajaram 10 years, 7 months ago


10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Sadhya Rippon 10 years, 7 months ago

Very interesting post. I enjoyed reading about this insect. I like Dragonflies.

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Darlene Foster 10 years, 7 months ago

Nice capture and information!

10 years, 7 months ago Edited
Eric J H Joyce 10 years, 7 months ago


10 years, 7 months ago Edited