Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dragonfly Adult Stage

Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Common Name: Dragonfly
Scientific Name: Anisoptera

Dragonfly Description

Dragonfly's are 1 to 4 inches long. Dragonfly's are long and heavy bodied insects. Their eyes are normally very close and they even touch each other. They have 4 very strong wings that can make the dragonfly hoover in the air.

Dragonfly's Diet

Dragonflies eat mosquitos, midgets, and flies. They sometimes eat butterflies, moths, and smaller dragonflies.

Where Do They Live

Dragonflies live near water, but they are very strong flyers so the are sometimes found very far from rivers, ponds, and swamps. Some dragonflies even migrate.

Interesting Facts

Dragonflies wings beat 30 times per minute, while bee's wings beat 300 times per minute and mosquito's wings beat 600 times per minute.

The extinct, bigger dragonflies had a wingspan of 30 inches.

Dragonflies can fly up to 35 miles per hour, but they don't normally go that fast. Only very strong flyers can fly that fast.

Dragonfly Nymph

Class: Insecta
Insect Order: Odonata
Common Name: Dragonfly
Scientific Name: Anisoptera

Dragonfly Nymphs spend its life out of the water and in the water. Nymphs develop in the water, but when it gets to its mid stage it comes out of the water.
Nymph Description

The nymph of the dragonfly is small. It is about 18-49mm long.
It has 6 segmented legs and they are located right below his head. Its body is short and chunky with wing pads and internal gills to breathe under the water.

Where Does It Live

The nymph lives on plants, among trees, in leaf litter, or at the bottom of ponds or slow moving rivers. It lives around the bottom of the watershed where the water is still, but it might have some pollution.

Its Diet

The dragonfly nymph eats mainly other insects under the water or sometimes they eat eachother. Some of the larger species eat tadpoles and small fish.

They hunt by using its toothed lower lip that is folded under their head. When an insect comes close to it, it will shoot out its lower lip and grab it, faster than its prey can even get out of the way. Then its lip will come back and then the nymph starts to eat.

Interesting Fact

When it is in its larvae stage it will molt about 5-15 times. When the nymph molts, eventually it will molt into the adult stage, the dragonfly.