The Weird and Wonderful: Dragonfly

With their voracious appetite, dragonflies help regulate the populations of insects that potentially carry diseases, reducing the need for chemical insecticides.


In this series, we showcase the diversity of rare, peculiar, and fascinating native flora and fauna in Singapore. We enthusiastically invite you to explore our nature reserves and gardens, urging you to pause and observe your surroundings—whether by looking up or down—to see if you can catch a glimpse of these unique wonders.


Dragonflies play a crucial role in ecosystems––their roles as predators and indicator species contribute to environmental health.

Dragonflies are a predatory species that eat all types of small insects­­. They primarily feed on mosquitoes, gnats, and flies. They are extremely skilful as hunters and catch up to 95% of the prey they go after–– much higher than other predators. Their impressive success rate is attributable to their exceptional flying skills, spectacular eyesight and lightning-fast neural systems. 

Dragonflies have two pair of wings that extend out horizontally at rest, much like an airplane. They can flap and beat their fore and hind wings independently and hover and fly in any direction, including backwards. They see much faster than we humans do. Each compound eye covers most of the dragonfly’s head, and allows it to see almost 360 degrees around it. Once dragonflies focus on a prey, they can predict its future location and swoop in on it with great accuracy.

Even as nymphs, baby dragonflies eat small aquatic creatures like mosquito larvae, worms, tadpoles, and even small fish!

With their voracious appetite, dragonflies help regulate the populations of insects that potentially carry diseases, reducing the need for chemical insecticides. A team of researchers from Nparks and the National University of Singapore are conducting a study on how to maximise the potential of dragonflies as natural pest control to combat dengue in Singapore. 

Dragonflies play a vital role as indicator species. They are highly sensitive to changes in water quality and habitat conditions, and dragonfly larvae require clean, unpolluted water to thrive. By monitoring dragonfly populations in certain areas, scientists can assess the health of aquatic ecosystems. A decline in the population or a decrease in diversity may be a sign of pollution, habitat loss, or other environmental disturbances. On the other hand, a good population of dragonflies is an indication of a healthy ecosystem. 

The presence, absence, or abundance of an indicator species reflects on a specific environmental condition. They can signal that something has changed or is going to change in the ecosystem and diagnose the health of an ecosystem.

Dragonflies also serve as an important food source for other animals including a wide range of birds, fish, frogs, and spiders. Their larvae are often prey to fishes and frogs. 

According to Nparks, there are over 123 dragonfly and damselfly species in Singapore. Dragonflies and damselflies belong to same order of insects called Odonata, meaning toothed jaws. Sometimes, they are both collectively referred to as dragonflies. You can tell a dragonfly from a damselfly by looking at how its wings look like at rest. Unlike the dragonfly, whose wings rest horizontally, the damselfly’s wings fold back in line with its abdomen. Damselflies also have a thin body and smaller eyes than the dragonfly.

Common dragonfly species you may spot in Singapore:

Common name: Crimson Dropwing

Scientific name: Trithemis aurora

The Crimson Dropwing is a common native dragonfly species that can be found in urban wetlands––in ponds and lakes. The males are a luminous fuchsia pink and females are golden yellow with black markings on the side.

Common name: Blue Dasher

Scientific name: Brachydiplax chalybea

The Blue Dasher is an abundant native species. They live near still calm bodies of water and particularly like lotus ponds. The males are a chalky blue colour with a black tip at the end of its abdomen and females are black with yellow stripes along the side and top.

Common name: Common Scarlet

Scientific name: Crocothemis servilia

The Common Scarlet is a common native species and are one of the larger red dragonflies found in Singapore. The males are red from head to tail and the female is light brown. Both males and females have a dark vertical line down the centre of their abdomen.

Common name: Common Parasol

Scientific name: Neurothemis fluctuans

The Common Parasol is the most common dragonfly species in Singapore. The males are reddish brown with maroon wings and transparent tips. Females are a dull brown with clear wings.

Common name: Yellow-barred Flutterer

Scientific name: Rhyothemis phyllis

The Yellow-barred Flutterer, also known as the Yellow-striped Flutterer, is common throughout Singapore and have been spotted far away from water. Swarms of the Yellow-barred Flutterer are often seen fluttering over grassy field in search from prey. Both males and females look similar. They are dark with a metallic sheen and have distinctive yellow and black bars on the base of their hind wings.

A key consideration when spotting dragonflies:

Watch your step near water bodies, keep your distance, and be careful not to stomp on dragonflies. The best time for dragonfly watching is from 9 am to 5 pm!

If you come across dragonflies in the wild, we encourage you to (safely and respectfully) capture photos and document your observations. We especially recommend using the local SGBioAtlas app, or the iNaturalist app, which enables you to share and validate your findings within the community.

Discover the wonders of nature, observe the intricacies of the world around you, and let curiosity be your guide. Happy exploring!

📷 Post your findings on social media and tag us on Instagram or Facebook.

Further reading:

Motor Control: How Dragonflies Catch Their Prey 

Enhancing the Diversity of Dragonflies in Urban Areas

October Events in Singapore

October events in Singapore that help you raise awareness, take action, connect with nature, be a part of the environmental movement, and meet like-minded people.


1. The Conscious Festival 2023

Time: 12:00 p.m. Friday, October 13th ­– 7 p.m., Sunday, October 15th

Place: South Beach Tower, 38 Beach Road, Singapore, 189767

Organiser: Green is the New Black


The Conscious Festival 2023 is an experiential event that focuses on the future of humanity in relation to climate, technology, and environmental consciousness. Through music, art, talks, workshops, and community building, it aims to raise awareness and help people adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

Find more details about the festival here.

2. East Coast Beach Plan Cleanups

Time: 9:00 a.m., Friday, October 13th; 9:00 a.m., Friday, October 20th; 9:00 a.m., Friday, October 27th

Place: East Coast Park

Organiser: @eastcoastbeachplan


The East Coast Beach Plan is a ground-up initiative for anyone interested to join or self-organise clean-ups to do their part to reduce plastic pollution from entering the ocean. Note that all sessions are ad-hoc and self-organised by interested individuals, nothing is really centrally organised. Do participate safely and at your own discretion and risk.

Read this document before you go!

3. Learning Forest Tour

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., Sunday, October 14th

Place: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Visitor Services at Tyersall Gate

Organiser: National Parks


The Learning Forest Tour features a network of boardwalks and elevated walkways that allow visitors to explore habitats ranging from a freshwater forest wetland to a lowland rainforest. Visitors can learn about freshwater forest wetland ecosystems at the Keppel Discovery Wetlands and walk amongst a collection of some of the tallest tree species in Southeast Asia at the SPH Walk of Giants

The Learning Forest Tour is free. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the session. Limited slots are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

3. Welcome Waders!

Time: 9:30 a.m.­ – 13:00 p.m., Saturday, October 14th

Place: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Visitor Centre

Organiser: National Parks


Every year, millions of migratory shorebirds make an extraordinary journey from their breeding grounds in the Arctic to this part of the world. The journey is a difficult one, and many of them fall prey to hunters, predators, and storms. However, a greater threat than all these is the loss of their ancestral rest stops to development, as populations plummet in the face of starvation.

For the shorebirds that arrive at Sungei Buloh, the reserve is a constant sanctuary in a coastline that is changing everywhere. For some, this is a chance to rest and refuel before their next stop in

Australia. For others, the reserve is precious home until April comes by, and they are readied for the long flight north.

Welcome Waders! is held in conjunction with World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), which falls on 14 October this year. WMBD is a biannual awareness-raising campaign that highlights the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.

4. Four Conversations 2023: The Clean Shift

Time: 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 14th – 4:30 p.m., Sunday, October 15th

Place: The Pod, Level 16, National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street, Singapore, 188064

Organiser: National Library Board


Four Conversations is an annual signature programme by the National Library where thought leaders share new possibilities for the future while inspiring lifelong learning and the creation of new knowledge.

Embrace a paradigm shift towards sustainability and make a positive impact on our lives and society. Be empowered by our local and international speakers

and explore new possibilities in the areas of employment, finance, human behaviour, and consumerism.

Click here to register now!

5. Zero • Market

Time: 9 a.m. ­– 2 p.m., Sunday, October 15th; 9 a.m. ­– 2 p.m., Sunday, October 21st

Place: Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre, 30A Yishun Central 1, Singapore 768796

Organiser: Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre 慈济人文青年中心


The Zero • Market is a sustainable lifestyle market, where fresh produce and sustainable goods are available! We are working towards Zero Waste, starting with Zero Meat and Zero Plastic (except for unavoidable plastic packaging). It takes place every 1st and 3rd Weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of the month unless otherwise stated. Visit the Zero • Market and don’t forget to bring your own bag!

6. Ubin Mangrove Kayaking – OCBC Park

Time: 10:00 a.m. ­– 12:00 p.m., Sunday, October 20th

Place: OCBC Mangrove Park

Organiser: Sea Angel


In support of the Restore Ubin Mangroves Initiative, Sea Angel is offering a limited run of community kayaking trips! From this immersive experience, community members will develop positive thoughts and feelings toward the mangroves and come up with questions and ideas for consideration by park designers and regulators.

The community rate for the kayaking trip is $30/pax including a guided tour, kayak equipment, a lifejacket, and bottled water.

The public feedback window is open till October 20th. To register for the event, please click here or contact 96775467 via WhatsApp.

7. Cloop 3rd Year Anniversary Party

Time: 10 a.m., Saturday, October 21st ­– 6 p.m., Sunday, October 22nd

Place: City Sprouts Sustainability Centre 102 Henderson Road, Singapore, 159562

Organiser: Cloop


Cloop celebrates 3 years of closing the loop for fashion for good, and would like you to join the festivities! This party has a big programme lineup including swaps and a bunch of earth-friendly activities.

Learn more about the event and purchase your ticket here.

8. Lifestyle Market

Time: 8 a.m. ­– 4 p.m., Saturday, October 28th

Place: Jurong Lake Gardens, Gardenhouse

Organiser: National Parks


Hang out at BIG’s lifestyle market to discover and support local brands that offer a variety of green products. From plants to crafts, homewares to pets, there’s something for everyone!

9. Repair Event

Time: 10 a.m. ­– 4 p.m., Sunday, October 29th

Place: at various locations near you (check the website for details).

OrganiserRepair Kopitiam


Join the upcoming repair event to revitalise your belongings with ease. Repair Kopitiam is here to rejuvenate what you cherish, from electricals to clothes needing a fix, even those broken household items. Its experts will mend your things, reducing waste, and promoting sustainability.

Click here to reserve a slot (Booking starts at 12 p.m., October 13th). Remember to check the sign-up conditions for your chosen time slot before coming.

Singapore to Increase Water Prices in 2024

Singapore will implement a phased revision of water prices, starting on 1 April 2024.


Singapore, 27 September 2023 — In response to escalating production and supply costs, Singapore will implement a phased revision of water prices, commencing on 1 April 2024 and followed by another adjustment on 1 April 2025.

Currently priced at $2.74 per cubic metre, the potable water rate will incrementally rise by 50 cents per cubic metre over two phases. The initial increase of 20 cents per cubic metre will be effective from 1 April 2024, followed by a subsequent rise of 30 cents per cubic metre from 1 April 2025.

In light of the full price revision set for April 2025, approximately 75% of households can expect a monthly increase of less than $10, before government support. Similarly, 75% of businesses, including small and medium enterprises, will see an increase of less than $25 in their monthly water bills.

Reasons for the Price Increase

Water, a critical resource for Singapore’s sustainability, has been a focal point of long-term planning and investment in critical infrastructure. This commitment has culminated in the establishment of the Four National Taps, ensuring a secure and dependable water supply to meet the nation’s growing demands.

Despite active cost mitigation measures, PUB and associated contractors have faced substantial cost increases since the last revision in 2017. Contributing factors include a 37% surge in average electricity market tariffs, increased expenses for essential chemicals and maintenance, and a 35% rise in construction costs.

Anticipating nearly double the water demand by 2065, Singapore acknowledges the pressing need for sustained investments in water infrastructure. The threat of climate change further underscores the necessity of weather-resilient water sources, such as NEWater and desalinated water, albeit at a higher energy and production cost.


Supports for a Smooth Transition

To cushion the impact of the water price hike, especially for lower- and middle-income households, the government will provide additional financial support, with details to be disclosed by the Ministry of Finance shortly. PUB will collaborate with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and relevant authorities to discourage profiteering.

Furthermore, the Climate Friendly Households (CFH) Programme will extend e-vouchers to all 1-, 2-, and 3-room households for water-efficient shower fittings. This program will be expanded in the coming year to encompass additional water fittings, yielding savings of approximately $50 to $150 per household annually.

Businesses, too, can tap into PUB’s augmented Water Efficiency Fund to implement water recycling and efficiency projects, thereby reducing their water demand and achieving sustainable cost savings.

As Singapore navigates these revisions, a comprehensive approach combining conservation efforts and financial support aims to ensure the continued availability and accessibility of this vital resource for all its citizens.