Odonate Insect Facts with Images

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Odonate Insect A female southern hawker, Aeshna cyanea, lays her eggs in a soft, waterlogged tree stump. (Aeshna means u or misshapen and cyanea means dark blue, although there is no blue color present in the female of the species. The southern hawker is widespread throughout Europe. Wingspan up to 3.5 inches (9 cm) and body length up to 2.8 inches (7 cm).

Odonate Insect Facts:

Common name: Dragonflies, damselflies

Order: Odonata

Class: Insecta

Subphylum: Hexapoda

Number of species: About 6,500 (438 U.S.)

Size: From about 0.7 in (19 mm) to 5 in (13 cm)

Key features: Head with large compound eyes and well developed jaws; antennae very short, 2 pairs of transparent wings almost equal in size, abdomen long and slim in most species; dragonflies hold their wings out to the side, damselflies fold their wings over and along the body jaws in nymphs can be extended for grabbing prey; damselfly nymphs have 3 external gills, dragonfly nymphs have gills inside the rectum Habits: Damselflies normally found hunting for prey close to water; stronger flying dragonflies may often be found hunting a long way from water; nymphs mostly aquatic

Breeding: Males may grab females in midair or pounce on sitting females, some species have complex courtship routines eggs laid in or near water

Diet: Both adults and nymphs are predators

Habitat: Any habitat with suitable still or running water, the latter not too fast; some species can inhabit deserts provided water is available at least for a short time

Distribution: Found all over the world except for the North and South poles

Odonate Insect Pictures Gallery:

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