They could be easily considered as supersonic fliers in the insect world indeed. Consider the fact that a dragonfly can reach a pretty amazing top speed of 60 kilometers an hour and you know that its size belies its power. Along with their beauty, dragonflies thus display some major “horsepower” in their airspeed as well. Interesting, isn’t it?
The wings of a dragonfly are marvelous creations. This insect, along with the similar damselfly has two separate sets of wings. The point of difference lies in the fact that the former can move their wings whereas the wings of the latter, the damselfly, remain more or less stationary.
The dragonfly and the damselfly are insects. They are part of the Odonata order. The term Odonata signifies “toothed ones”. While a dragonfly cannot really bite into a human being, it may nip you if you held it within your hand and trapped it. But the term “toothed ones” points to their rather strong jaws or mandibles.
A dragonfly’s lifecycle starts as an egg and their stages of metamorphosis takes them through larva, pupa and adulthood. As an adult its wingspan can reach around 6 inches.
Also, a dragonfly can live for a few years if it lives in freshwater. But once it leaves this habitat, it is extra vulnerable to predators and may perish even in a few months. It is a prey for creatures like birds, spiders and frogs too.
For the dragonfly itself, small insects, smaller dragonflies as well as damselflies are part of its natural diet. They can also eat little tadpoles and nymphs of mosquitoes when they are aquatic dwellers. For their normal hunting however, dragonflies have a preference for an open hunting ground more than ground covered with vegetation.
A few interesting facts about dragonfly are their moniker of “the devil’s darning needle” in Swedish traditional stories. Apparently, the dragonfly would sew up the mouths of children who told tales or lied. Also, in ancient times, the wingspans of a dragonfly could reach a massive 2 feet. With the Triassic period, these fantastic creatures died out. The presence of larva of dragonfly in water is an indicator of the good health of the water. Dragonflies are also found in abundance all over the world. Antarctica seems to be the only place which does not have dragonflies. 450 of the known 5,000 species of dragonflies are present in the United States of America.
More Articles :
- How Fast Can Dragonflies Fly ?
- How To Attract Dragonflies ?
- Life Cycle Of Dragonfly
- What Does The Dragonfly Symbolize ?
eHow: How Fast Can a Dragonfly Fly?