Dragonflies

Dragonfly (Order Odonata)
Dragonflies are known for their large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of transparent wings, and elongated bodies that often come in a variety of different bright colors. They cannot walk well but are among the fastest fliers of the insect world. Dragonflies, as the name indicates, are predators that eat mosquitoes, flies, bees, ants, and other insects. There are 5680 different species of dragonflies known today.
Dragonfly.jpg
Dragonfly nymph.jpg
Life Cycle of the Dragonfly
A Dragonfly Nymph Larvae are laid in shallow water and incubate for days to months, depending on the weather. Once hatched, they initially feed on yolk, and eventually hunt for food. They use their gills as propellers. As a nymph they eat mosquito larvae, small fish, frogs, toads, and other insect larvae. As they grow, they shed their exoskeletons and eventually emerge when they time is right. They crawl out of the water, attach to a rock, bush, week or other dry surface, and emerge after the shell dries out. At this point the larvae have become teneral adults (immature adults) and are colorless. They will soon spread their wings by filling their veins with blood. They continue to dry while hardening their abdomen and considered to be juveniles. After a few days or weeks they develop color, and when shedding is complete they are an adult.

Fun Facts
  • The largest flying insect fossil is a dragonfly with a wingspan of 3 feet!
  • Adult Dragonflies do not bite or sting, while the nymphs can produce a painful but not dangerous bite.
  • Dragonflies may be the most effective predator out there, catching their prey a whopping 95% of the time!
  • The larval stage for dragonflies may last up to 2 years.
  • Dragonflies, like hummingbirds can fly straight up and down, side to side, forward and backward, and even hover mid-air
  • Dragonfly eyes have 30,000 lenses, allowing them to see in almost every direction but directly behind them.
References
For more information, please see:
Wikipedia- Dragonflies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonfly
The Dragonfly Web Site
http://dragonflywebsite.com/
http://www.dragonflies.org/
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/science/dragonflies-natures-deadly-drone-but-prettier.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0
The Smithsonian
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2011/10/14-fun-facts-about-dragonflies/
http://www.dragonfly-site.com/dragonfly-facts.html