Any of various large insects of the order Odonata or suborder Anisoptera, having a long slender body and two pairs of narrow, net-veined wings that are usually held outstretched while the insect is at rest. Also called regionally darner, darning needle, devil's darning needle, ear sewer, mosquito fly, mosquito hawk, needle, skeeter hawk, snake doctor, snake feeder, spindle.Regional Note:
Regional terms for the dragonfly are numerous—the Dictionary of American Regional English
lists nearly 80 of them. The greatest variety of terms is to be found in the South, where the most widespread term is snake doctor
(a name based on a folk belief that dragonflies take care of snakes). The Midland equivalent is snake feeder.
Speakers from the Lower South and the Mississippi Valley, on the other hand, are more likely to refer to the same insect as a mosquito fly, mosquito hawk,
or, in the South Atlantic states, a skeeter hawk.
The imagery outside the South often alludes to the insect's shape rather than its behavior or diet: speakers in the West, Upper North, and New England call it a darner, darning needle,
or, less commonly, a devil's darning needle,
and those in the Upper North also refer to it just as a needle;
those in Coastal New Jersey, a spindle;
and those in the San Francisco Bay area, an ear sewer,
that is, a creature that sews up your ears.