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Order Odonata: The Dragonflies

Order Odonata: The Dragonflies

A dragonfly is a special type of predatory animal that helps control the population, with its huge jaws and quick wing reflexes. It is characterized by its huge multi-retinal eyes, two strong wings, and its elongated body. These flies have six legs, and for the most part have trouble walking. Dragon flies are one of the fastest flying insects in the world, with its strong directional awareness and ability to hover for periods of time longer than the usual insect.

Life Cycle

The females typically lay eggs near water, on an emerging plant. When the eggs are laid, the female with submerge themselves in water in order to lay the eggs on a good, stable surface. The eggs then eventually hatch into nymphs. Most of the fly’s life is spent in nymph form, underwater and using extendable jaws to catch prey. It can even catch tadpoles or tiny fish! The larvae stage may last as long as five years. In slightly smaller species, the fly can last as larvae as little as two months or up to three years. Exposure to air caused the nymph to begin breathing. In flight as an adult, the dragonfly can fly in six different directions, up, down, forward, back and side to side.

Predators

Dragonflies are one of the main insects that are major predators, and prey on a variety of smaller insects. Insects such as ants, flies, bees and mosquitoes are regularly preyed upon by these beautiful creatures. They can be found by marshes, lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands. There are almost 6,000 different species of dragonflies, and these species are not without being preyed upon either. Birds, lizards, spiders, other bugs and even other dragonflies can prey upon these insects.

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