A dragonfly is an insect. Adult dragonflies are characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, sometimes with colored patches, and an elongated body. Dragonflies are predators. Fossils of very large dragonfly ancestors in the Protodonata are found from 325 million years ago in Upper Carboniferous rocks; these had wingspans of up to about 750 mm (30 in). They are used in traditional medicine in Japan and China, and caught for food in Indonesia. They are symbols of courage, strength and happiness in Japan, but seen as sinister in European folklore. Their bright colors and agile flight are admired in the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the prose of H. E. Bates.
Fun Fact: About 300 million years a ago dragonflies known as Meganeura were about 1 foot long and there wing spans were two and a half feet wide.