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Interesting Dragonfly Facts

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We found 22 interesting facts about dragonflies

Prehistoric insects that have survived to this day

Dragonflies are one of the oldest insects living on earth. They live in bodies of water and their surroundings. They are carnivores, very skilled hunters, and feed on other insects that they catch with their feet. However, before the dragonfly begins to fly and hunt in the air, it will spend most of its life underwater as a larva. Here is some information about these amazing and very distinctive insects.

1

There are about 6000 species of dragonflies in the world, of which 74 are found in Poland.

2

The first dragonflies appeared in the world 350 million years ago.

Today they are among the oldest evolutionarily living insects.
3

Dragonflies are insects with incomplete metamorphosis. This means that the larvae are similar to adults and do not go through the pupal stage.

4

Morphologically, we divide dragonflies into differential-winged and isopterous.

5

The wingspan of these insects ranges from 2 to 19 centimeters.

6

Dragonfly eyes are compound eyes, in some species they can consist of up to 40 omatidia - the main element of the structure of a compound eye.

7

The lifespan of dragonflies, depending on the species, ranges from six months to seven years.

8

Dragonflies spend most of their lives underwater as predatory larvae.

9

We can find living fossils among dragonflies.

These are dragonflies from the Epiophlebiidae family, which have remained virtually unchanged in evolution since the Mesozoic. Dragonflies of this family combine features of both dragonflies and homoptera.
10

Dragonflies are excellent fliers.

They move almost silently, and their speed can reach 10 m/s. Dragonflies are capable of flying in all directions and hovering in the air.
11

Dragonflies' food most often includes flying insects such as mosquitoes and flies.

Dragonflies hunt by catching prey with their stiff-bristled legs. On the other hand, dragonfly larvae hunt using their mouthparts, which we call a mask.
12

The largest dragonfly in the world, Megaloprepus caerulatus, reaches a body length of up to 19 centimeters. Found in Central America.

13

The wingspan of the cockatiel Meganeura monyi, which lived about 300 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, was up to 75 centimeters.

This species is considered the largest insect in the history of the Earth. It is believed that these dragonflies could even hunt small reptiles.
14

Dragonflies most often lay eggs underwater. Some species nest near bodies of water.

15

The organ responsible for breathing underwater in dragonfly larvae is the gills.

16

Dragonfly larvae can attack adults, especially females, when laying eggs.

17

Dragonfly larvae molt about 10 times.

18

During metamorphosis, the larvae gradually begin to leave the aquatic environment. This process takes several days.

19

The adult form of dragonflies is called an imago.

20

The life of a dragonfly in adult form lasts approximately 2 weeks to 2 months.

The exception is representatives of the species Sympecma paedisca and Sympecma fusca, which transform only in the second half of summer, then overwinter and reproduce only next spring. These are the only dragonflies whose larval period is shorter than the adult life.
21

The wings of dragonflies can be parasitized by flies that suck hemolymph from the veins running in the wings.

22

The branch of entomology that studies dragonflies is called odonatology.

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