Unlike damselflies, the front and rear wing pairs are shaped differently. As the larva grows, it molts, its future wings first becoming apparent about halfway through the larva’s development. The wing muscles of dragonflies (Odonata) and those of some other insects are worked in simple, direct ways by pulling on the wing bases and making them pivot about their joints. Disproportionately large, the mask folds beneath both the head and thorax when it is not in use. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. These wing sheaths then enlarge rapidly with each successive molt. Larvae crawl from eggs laid in or near water. The life span of a dragonfly is as varied as its colors. Dragonflies, like damselflies, exhibit a mating posture unique to the Odonata. This article was most recently revised and updated by, Distinguishing characteristics and flight behaviour, https://www.britannica.com/animal/dragonfly, dragonfly - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), dragonfly - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Originally posted Aug 04 2009 9:21 PM. Damselflies (suborder Zygoptera) are sometimes also called dragonflies in that both are odonates (order Odonata). Updates? Dragonfly wing muscles must be warm to function optimally, and so, if cool, the insect often engages in wing-whirring and basking in the sun to generate heat before taking flight. Adult dragonflies have voracious appetites, and can be observed hunting other flying insects, particularly small flies, on sunny days. Why are Moths and Bright Lights Inseparable? Young dragonflies, called larvae or sometimes nymphs or naiads, are aquatic and are as dedicated predators under water as the adults are in the air. Enter your name and email address below to subscribe. What is the life expectancy of a zebra finch? The life-expectancy of adults is short, typically no more than a week or two, but sometimes they can last 6–8 weeks. Slow-motion animation demonstrates how a dragonfly larva extends its labial mask to capture prey. Called the “mask,” it is a fusion of the larva’s third pair of mouthparts. Houseflies pass through four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. WHAT IS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A DRAGONFLY? Predaceous insects with biting mouthparts; 2 pairs of elongate membranous wings, each with a complex network of small crossveins and a conspicuous stigma; compound eyes very large and prominent; antennae short and filiform (threadlike); abdomen elongated and slender with male accessory armature on….

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