- The dragonfly is an aquatic insect.
- There are around 5,000 species of dragonflies in the world.
- Dragonflies are harmless insects. They do not bite or sting. Instead, they help people by eating mosquitoes.
- They are found everywhere in the world except the Polar Regions.
- Dragonflies have slender, long bodies. They are red, green or blue in colour with white, yellow or black markings.
- Dragonflies have four large, transparent wings which are fragile and skinny and shine in the sunlight when the insect flies. Dragon flies have two big compound eyes and two small antennae.
- They have three pairs of legs, their legs are covered with spines and are used to perch on tree branches instead of for walking. They have a mouth with sharp jaws for grabbing and eating other bugs.
- Dragonfly lays eggs. Some lay eggs in water and others on the stem of plants that grow near water. When the eggs hatch, the young live in the water. They hatch after four weeks. The young are called nymphs.
- Dragonfly nymphs are short bodied, immature-staged dragonflies that have wing pads and legs located near their head. They are about the size of eyelashes. They don’t have wings.
- The nymphs stay in this stage for about one to two years and shed their skin many times during this period. They live at the bottom of ponds and rivers, among stones, on plants and in leaf litter.
- The dragonfly nymphs eat lots of mosquito larvae to help them grow. They have a special jaw that shoots out from their mouth to grab prey.
- The nymphs crawl out of the water, emerging as adult dragonflies with wings.
- Mature dragonflies primarily feed on insects like mosquitoes. They can hunt while they fly. Their good eyesight helps them to see other flying insects.
- When dragonflies fly, they hold their legs together, forming a basket in which to capture insects, amazingly, they can eat the captured insects while they are flying.
- Dragonfly nymphs eat insects, small aquatic animals, and sometimes, young fish, depending on the size of the nymph.
Place they live in
- Dragonflies live near streams, ponds, lakes, rivers and even waterfalls.
- Once the Dragonfly nymphs change to adult dragonfly, they can fly a long way from water. They fly back to water to lay their eggs.
About their Movement
- Dragonflies can fly. They can zigzag, turn and even fly backwards. They are strong and they can lift things heavier than they are. They can also fly at a speed of 40 to 60 miles per hour.
- Dragonfly nymphs cannot fly. They don’t have wings. So they swim around the water plants and hunt for their food. Sometimes they lie at the bottom of ponds or lakes. They breathe through the gills inside their bodies. They can move faster than most creatures in water.
Danger for dragonfly
- Birds and frogs eat the dragonflies, if they can catch. Dragonflies can fly very fast. Usually they are too quick to be caught.
- Mostly they get caught, when they laying eggs or when they are moulting – shedding the skin. It cannot fly or defend itself until its new wings and body are dry and hard.
Life of Dragonfly
- Dragonfly nymphs live for a few years in water while they grow. Adults live for a few months during which they breed to start new generations.
- The widow skimmer is an attractive, large dragonfly.
- Male widow skimmers have dark patches with white borders on their wings, while the females only have the dark patches. Males have bluish abdomens, while the females have dark abdomens with yellow edges.
- This species lives near ponds, marshes, and lakes and are commonly found across the United States, except in the Rocky Mountains.
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