Critter Corner - Dragon
DID YOU KNOW:
Dragonflies are among the most ancient of all living creatures.
Fossils resembling the non-stinging insects date back 300
million years. Dragonflies have two pairs of wings and
each set moves independently so the insects can fly forward and
backward. Their wings beat 20 to 90 times a second.
The legs are used for perching only and do not move to walk.
eat huge numbers of other insects, including mosquitoes, as they
fly through the air. These amazing creatures make a
basket-like trap with their legs to catch a tasty treat and use
sharp mouthparts to cut up their prey.
A dragonfly begin its life in an egg that the adult lays in
water or in submerged plants. During this first stage of
life the dragonfly is called a nymph, or naiad. The nymph
lives entirely in water. It has no wings and propels itself
around water eating other insects, tadpoles and tiny fish.
must have water where they can lay eggs and the nymph can
survive. Dragonflies can be found living near marshes,
dragonflies are often called "stingers" or "devil's darning
needles" because of their long, slender bodies, they do NOT have
stingers. Dragon flies are ferocious predators of insects
but cannot harm humans. The best defense a dragonfly has
against its main enemy -- birds -- is it's amazing speed in
flight. The largest of the dragonflies has been recorded
flying at speeds of 60 miles an hour!
Dragonflies have large compound eyes, which are made up of
many smaller lenses or facets. The dragonfly has the
most of any insect, up to 30,000 lenses, which allows it to
see up, down, sideways, forward and backward.
It has the best eyesight of all insects.
(Photo credits: Laurie Brown)