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HABITAT AND DIET

Dragonflies live for months at least, and some live for several years as aquatic larvae before emerging and living for a few months as adults. If it is too cold or wet, they hide in vegetation. Adult male dragonflies often establish territories along the edges of ponds or streams. They only defend the territory against other males of their species.

Some large dragonfly species migrate south to warmer climates at the end of the summer. Their offspring may then migrate north the following year. Adult dragonflies communicate visually much more than most other insects. Males fight aerial duels for territory, displaying their size and speed to each other. Mating pairs probably communicate by touch, possibly chemically too.

Dragonflies in their aquatic stage eat many kinds of small animals: aquatic insects , tadpoles , small fish , and other invertebrates.


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Adult dragonflies eat flying insects , especially mosquitoes and other true flies , but also aphids , smaller dragonflies, damselflies, and just about any other insects they can grab. Immature dragonflies avoid predators by hiding, and by jetting away if they have to. Adult dragonflies avoid predators with their quick and agile flight, and hide in vegetation when it is too cold to fly. Dragonflies are sometimes the top predators in ponds with no fish. Adult dragonflies help control populations of mosquitos and other flies.

Most dragonfly species are abundant and common, but a few use special habitats as immatures, and they are at risk because their habitats are in danger. There are some old stories about dragonflies stinging or stabbing people.

Dragonflies and Damselflies

They are not true. Dragonflies are totally harmless to people. All rights reserved. Skip directly to main content. Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species.

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Dragonflies and Damselflies - OVLC : OVLC

Critter Catalog. Anisoptera This scientific name is not yet recognized in our classification database. Anisoptera What do they look like?

Adult Dragonflies and Contributions

In Michigan there are species Biogeographic Regions nearctic native palearctic native oriental native ethiopian native neotropical native australian native What kind of habitat do they need? These animals are found in the following types of habitat temperate tropical terrestrial freshwater Terrestrial Biomes taiga desert or dune chaparral forest rainforest scrub forest mountains Aquatic Biomes lakes and ponds rivers and streams Wetlands marsh swamp bog How do they grow?

Development - Life Cycle metamorphosis How long do they live? How do they behave? Habitat: Nymphs mostly occur in still waters, but can be found in slow flowing parts of rivers and streams as well. Life cycle: Dragonflies undergo incomplete metamorphosis. Their life cycle includes three stages — egg, nymph and adult.

Some species produce one generation per year, while others require up to several years for one generation. As like adult dragonflies, reigning the airspace of insects, their nymphs are among the largest invertebrate predators of freshwater ecosystems. Characteristic feature of all the nymphs of order Odonata is their extendable lower lip labium. Palps end with thorns, which are used to grab the prey. In idle state, the mask is composed under the head and covers the mandibles.

Darner dragonfly nymphs have a flat lower lip not shaped into a spoon or scoop. Aeshnid nymphs have very well developed eyesight, allowing them to chase moving animals. When hunting, the mask is extended by contraction of muscles and body fluids, thereby greatly increasing the reach. The speed of such a thrust can be up to 25 milliseconds and the nymph is able to vanquish a prey even larger than itself. Among other invertebrates, their prey can include small fish, tadpoles and newts. An elongated and mostly cylindrical body consists of a head, thorax and abdomen.

The abdomen terminates with three pointed structures forming a pyramid. Three pairs of segmented legs each ending with two claws extend from the thorax. Nymphs occur with mottled patterns in variety of colours including green, brown and yellow.

Dragonfly nymphs (order Odonata, suborder Anisoptera)

Anisopteran dragonfly nymphs keep their gills protected in a rectal chamber inside the rear of their abdomen. To breathe, they pump water in and out of their anus. Moreover, this movement can be used to propel themselves rapidly forward and escape the predators. Nymphs shed their chitinous skin exoskeleton several times as they grow larger. Wing pads, located on the top of thorax, are developing with the nymph and in the last stage contain precisely folded wings.

Fully grown nymphs use plant stems to climb out of the water and emerge into adult dragonflies. Cordulegastrid nymphs use sit and wait strategy to ambush their prey. Habitat: Nymphs mostly occur in running waters, especially in small woodland streams.

A Baby Dragonfly's Mouth Will Give You Nightmares

Movement: Most of the nymphal stage they spend partially burrowed in sand and sediments at the bottom. Most species require 3 — 5 years for one generation. Introduction: Cordulegastridae is the family of dragonflies with typical bottom-living nymphs. Their eyes are relatively small and rise above the body level. The body is elongated, cylindrical and tapered. Nymphs are covered with bristles or tufts of setae. Three pairs of strong segmented legs each ending with two claws extend from the thorax.

Nymphs do not dig with their front legs but use their hind legs and side to side movements to burrow themselves quickly into the substrate.

Tying Emperor Dragonfly Nymph - Crocheted (Nymphs) by BK

Distinctive feature of this family is the large extendable labium. Each palp is equipped with large irregular teeth and one movable hook, which are used to hold the prey when it is being devoured. They use sit and wait hunting strategy and consume any type of a prey within their reach.

All anisopteran nymphs breathe underwater by using gills inside the abdomen. Spiketail dragonfly nymphs may remain burrowed and motionless for weeks, while they wait for a prey and reach oxygenated water only with the apex of abdomen above the substrate. Libellulid nymphs use sit and wait hunting strategy or actively stalk their prey. Habitat: Nymphs can be found in variety of freshwater ecosystems from small ponds and streams to large lakes and rivers.

Movement: They climb around aquatic vegetation and crawl on the bottom. Some species burrow into the sediments. Introduction: Libellulidae is large and diverse family of dragonflies. Nymphs are found near the banks or in sediments at the bottom of various freshwater ecosystems.