HABITATDragonfly nymphs are aquatic, and can be found in streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and wetlands.
- They capture prey by using their legs to form a basket and scoop up the prey out of the air while flying.
LIFE CYCLE Dragonflies have an aquatic nymphal stage and a terrestrial adult phase.
- They live in areas where water is slow-moving or still.
- They are likely to be found under rocks and wood.
ROLE IN FOOD CHAINDragonfly nymphs and adults are the top predators in many aquatic food webs.
- During mating the adult male clasps the female with specialized appendages which only fit into his own specific species of dragonfly.
- The entire life cycle of a dragonfly can take up to several years, the adult stage, however, lasts only a few weeks.
- Drangonfly nymphs are active predators and consume various other invertebrates.
- As adults they consume a large number of insect pests, including mosquitos.
- Many species can get up to 7-8 cm long.
- Fossil Dragonflies have wing spans up to 2 metres and were almost a meter in lenght! These giant insects were able to sustain flight because oxygen levels were far higher at this time
- Dragonflies hold their wings horizontally at rest, while most damselflies hold their wings together above the body.
- Drangonflies respire not only through their gills, but also through their wing pads.
- Nymph drangonsflies have gills inside the rear of their abdomen. They obtain oxygen by contracting their abdomen to pump water in and out of the gill chamber. By quickly expelling the water, they are pushed forward by their own 'jet propulsion' system.
Brusca, R. C, and Brusca, G. J., 2003. Invertebrates, 2nd ed. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Massachusetts. Page 596.
Canada's Aquatic Environment (2002). Odonata. Available here.
DMI International Corporation (2003). LaMotte Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Insect Identification Flashcards.
The Brown Family Environmental Center at Kenyon College (2010). Dragonfly Lifecycles. Available here.
Univeristy of Minnesota; Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest (2004). Odonota. Available here.
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