A Number of vital Facts on Dragonflies

Know more About Dragonflies

If you do a survey of 100 people almost all of them will say that they find flying insects annoying or revolting. Mosquitoes bite you and leave scratchy red welts on your skin while wasps and bees sting. Flies are outright revolting. However, this isn’t the case with dragonflies.

There’s something magical about them. Below are some facts about this winged insect.

A few basic facts

Dragonflies happen to be a few of the foremost winged insects to grow, about 300 million years back. The dragonflies that exist today are characterized by a wingspan of between two and five inches. However, there is evidence of fossil dragonflies having a wingspan as much as feet.

While a few grown-up dragonflies have a lifespan of a few weeks others have a lifespan of as much as a year.

Grownup dragonflies eat insects and they make an excellent controller of the population of mosquitoes. One grownup can consume between 30 and hundreds of mosquitoes in a day.

As to the great size of dragonflies, several scientists attribute it to the high oxygen levels of the Paleozoic times. Coming to the species of Dragonflies over 5,000 are documented. All of them are part of the Odonata order. The reason for this name is the serrated teeth of the Dragonfly.

How do they reproduce?

The larvae, which could last for as much as two years, are aquatic and consume almost anything. Among them are mosquitoes, fish, tadpoles, larvae of other insects, and even one another.

After this period, the dragonfly sneaks out from the water. After that, the exoskeleton splits open and discharges the abdomen, which was crammed. Next, the four wings emerge, and they become dry and get harder over some hours or even days.

They are skillful flyers and have an incredible vision

They are skillful fliers and are able to fly directly up and down, float as a helicopter does and also mate while airborne. Flying is essential for them as they catch their prey when they fly. They capture their insect victim by grasping it using their feet. Their efficiency in hunting is proved. In a study, the preys were let loose in an enclosure. The dragonflies were successful in catching between 90 and 95 % of them.

Their flight is so distinctive that it has motivated engineers whose ambition is to create robots that cannas the dragonflies do.

The head of almost all the dragonflies head is the eye. This explains the incredible vision of this insect that covers nearly all angles barring right at their back.

Dragonflies amounting to hundreds of diverse species tend to assemble in groups, for feeding or relocation. There is very little information about this practice. However, efforts are underway for understanding this behavior better.

Scientists have attached minute transmitters to the wings of migratory dragonflies using superglue and eyelash adhesive for pursuing them. They discovered that New Jersey’s green darners traveled at intervals of three days and covered an average distance of 7.5 miles in a day. Globe skinner is a species of dragonflies that holds the record for the lengthiest migration of all insects.

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Amit Mukherjee

Amit Mukherjee is an author and the staff member of Nature Talkies.

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