Dragonfly insect

Additional images

Miracles of fossilisation

It seems impossible that the delicate wing of an insect could be preserved for millions of years, but under certain circumstances it does happen. The Purbeck Beds are recognised as containing an amazing number of beetles, flies, dragonflies. They are preserved in very fine mud known as micrite, that settled on the floor of lagoons and ponds. The micrite is so fine that it preserved the detail of the fragile insects. The rocks tell us that insects have been around for a very long time, and have hardly changed. They are, in fact, living fossils.


Find out more on the insects page.

Common name

Dragonfly insect

Scientific name



Arthropods > Insects


Purbeck Limestone Group

Time period

Lower Cretaceous


142 million years

Where found

Durlston Bay {module Durlston safety warning}

Found by



Dorset County Museum, Dorchester

Accession number