Dreadful Dragonfly

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Those are darn big darners.

Sometimes, authors become bored of the overwhelmingly common Giant Spiders and Creepy Centipedes and try to get a little more creative with their Big Creepy-Crawlies.

Dragonflies can fill the role to perfection. After all, they combine high-speed flight, toothed mandibles and gigantic, compound eyes, and this places them among the most formidable predators among the insects, being able to prey upon even small fishes. They are also quite big for insects and their younger life stages as just as deadly: Dragonfly larvae are aquatic predators with extensible mandibles that burst out to capture prey. As such, giant dragonflies would be an incredibly terrifying sight for hapless humans, who would have no hope out outrunning them and surviving their teeth.

Subtrope of Big Creepy-Crawlies.


Examples:

Films - Animated

  • In the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of Fun and Fancy Free, Mickey, Donald and Goofy make their way across the giant's moat when they see a swarm of giant dragonflies flying overhead. Donald teases them by making machine gun noises, and one of them attacks. They are saved when a giant fish eats the dragonfly.

Literature

  • In the Past Doctor Adventures novel Island of Death, the Doctor mentions the Sclaponian Dragonflies. Not much is known about them, but since he nearly lost an entire leg to the creature, one can imagine how humongous those insects are.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • In Dungeons & Dragons, giant dragonflies appeared as a new monster in module EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror and later in the Monster Manual 2. They are man-sized, have up to 64 Hit Points, and are very hard to hit in combat. They are known to attack human beings, and can kill a normal human in a single combat round.

Video Games

  • Alice: Madness Returns has the annoying Bolterflies, big dragonflies made out of nuts and bolts. They attack Alice by latching on her and draining her energy, immobilizing her. Bolterflies live in nests and spawn indefinitely until said nests are destroyed.
  • Among the new weapons introduced in Bayonetta 2 was Kafka, a giant, dragonfly-themed bow. It's summons are Carnages, giant dragonfly demons with particularly large maws. These are also summoned in the against Malicious in one of the most brutal Torture Attacks in the series during which the poor demon gets Eaten Alive by the darners.
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin has giant acid-spitting dragonflies as enemies.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest introduced the Flitters, big blue dragonflies from the Kremlin Krew that patrol definite paths and hurt Diddy and Dixie should them touch the darners. Hopefully, they are quite weak.
    • The Monocle Monicas from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze are huge dragonfly-like creatures approximatively the size of Donkey Kong. They quickly move forward and backward from a point A to a point B and contact with them will harm Donkey Kong.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has the tall, threatening-looking Dragonflies. Their tails are charged with electricity and they attack Link by swinging said tails at him.
  • Subverted with the Nectarious Dandlefly in Pikmin 3: while quite much bigger than the characters, these damselflies are completely harmless to the Pikmin, and carry precious nectar on their body segments.
  • Pokémon has the Yanma line. While Yanma, introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver, was already quite big with its 3'11, it was quite cute and not all that scary. Then Pokémon Diamond and Pearl gave it an evolution: the monstrous Yanmega. Not only does it have a very intimidating appearance, it stands at a whopping 6'03 (the biggest Bug-type Pokemon until Scolipede stole the title). Even worse, the Pokedex states that it has powerful jaws that can bite foes and preys in half (and it is quite fond of it) and that it can create shockwaves with its wings. To top all of that, it is very fast. One wouldn't want to get of their bad side...
  • Dragonfly badniks have appeared in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog CD has Tonbo in Tidal Tempest, which just flew back and forth and didn't really try to attack.
    • Sonic & Knuckles has the aptly named Dragonflies in Mushroom Hill Zone, who notably have spiky abdomens with which they skewer their foes. These same badniks also reappears in Sonic Mania's Press Garden Zone.
  • In Super Paper Mario, Planet Blobule is the home of strange dragonfly aliens called the Choppas. They are as big as Mario, have very unpredictable movement patterns and can freely flip between dimensions, making them dangerous enemies.

Real Life

  • Some species of dragonflies are rather big insects (although nowhere near the fictitious ones). The biggest one is the Giant Petaltail, which has a wingspan of 160 mm (over 6 inches). Thankfully, they are harmless to humans.
  • Prehistoric dragonflies, from the Meganeura genus, were even bigger, with some reaching a wingspan of 700mm (2'08). Try to imagine those monsters flying into your room...
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