The Dragonflies is the title of chapter 11 of the Amber Spyglass.
"A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent."
Source: "Auguries of Innocence" by William Blake
Title Reference and Icon
The icon is a drawing of a dragonfly. The title refers to the dragonflies that the Gallivespian spies use for transportation.
Ama and her dæmon, Kulang, leave food at the entrance to the cave where Lyra is being held captive by Mrs. Coulter and they play a game, climbing to the top of the small stream and waterfall. When they reach the top, Ama sees Iorek Byrnison and Will. Balthamos takes the shape of a bird and, by pretending to be Will's dæmon, is able to reassure Ama that they won't hurt her. Ama leads Will to the cave, and he sees Mrs. Coulter. Will asks Ama to bring the powder that she has when she next brings food to the cave. Will goes up to speak to Mrs. Coulter, and she invites him into the cave to see Lyra. Mrs. Coulter tells Will that she is keeping Lyra in the cave because she loves her and is trying to protect her from the Church. She has to keep Lyra drugged because she would run away if she awakens. Will is somewhat captivated by Mrs. Coulter's appearance and fragrance but knows that she is lying. Will, Iorek and Balthamos hear the Church's zeppelins approaching and realize they don't have much time to rescue Lyra. Will plans to cut an opening into the cave and take Lyra through it.
In the Zeppelin, Lady Salmakia watches the dragonflies hatch and the Chevalier Tialys sends a message to Lord Roke telling him that part of the Church's force plans to kill and behead Lyra. That group will also either capture or kill Mrs. Coulter. Another part of the force plans to capture Will alive. Lord Roke replies that they are to cooperate with Will in order to save Lyra. Salmakia and Tialys mount their dragonflies and leave the Zeppelin.