Friday, 14 June 2019

Dragonflies


I've always loved dragonflies. Their delicate looking bodies and wings, yet I often see them balancing against strong winds like acrobats. I realized that although I love taking pictures of them I literally have no knowledge about them so thought it would be fun to look up some facts and share them with you along with a few of my favorite photos I've taken of them.


There are over 5,000 species of dragonflies.

Dragonflies have 6 legs, a thorax, a head, and an abdomen. The abdomen is long and segmented. Despite having 6 legs, the dragonfly doesn't walk very well. It is a great flyer, however. Dragonflies can hover in one place, fly extremely fast, and even fly backwards. They are some of the fastest flying insects in the world reaching speeds of over 30 miles per hour (source).


One of the best things about dragonflies is that they like to eat mosquitoes and gnats. They are carnivores and eat all types of other insects too including cicadas, flies, and even other smaller dragonflies.
To catch their prey, dragonflies create a basket with their legs. They then swoop in capturing their prey with their legs and biting it to hold it in place. They will often eat what they have caught while they are still flying (source).


They have been around for 300 million years. Prehistoric dragonflies were much larger and could have a wingspan of 2 ½ feet (75 cm)!!

At the shortest, the life cycle of a dragonfly from egg to the death of the adult is about six months. There are even dragonflies that live for several years as aquatic larvae before they emerge and live for a few months as adults. Most dragonflies don't die of old age but are caught by predators.  Even if they do survive, they still don't live much longer than a few months.
A surprising and interesting fact about the dragonfly is that they will spend only a very short part of their life span as actual adult dragonflies. They will live as nymphs (aquatic larvae) for up to four years, molting their skin between 8 to 17 times depending on the species, and finally, when they mature into adults, they can only live for a few months.


Quite a few things I did not know, how amazing each aspect of nature is! I love the beautiful creatures we get to see around here!


Dragonflies are insects that belong to the order of Odonata. ... According to the myth, after St. George wounded the dragon, his horse was cursed by the devil and became a giant flying insect. That's why in the Romanian language the word dragonfly translates into Devil's Horse (source).

1 comment:

  1. I love dragonflies too. There is a lily pond at our sea front that has dragonflies that I take photos of every summer. AriadnefromGreece!

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