Dragonflies are in the kingdom Animala, the phylum Arthropoda, the subphylum Hexapoda, the class Insecta, the order Odonata and the suborder Anisoptera. Odonata, which means "toothed one," includes dragonflies and damselflies.
The range of dragonflies includes most of the world, especially warmer climates. They are large insects with narrow, transparent and veiny wings. Dragonflies feed while flying, preying on smaller insects such as flies, gnats and mosquitoes.
Dragonflies evolved about 300 million years ago, and they number about 5,000 known species. A modern dragonfly's wingspan is two to five inches, but dragonfly fossils with wingspans of two feet have been unearthed.