3 ) There are more than 5,000 known species of dragonflies, all of which (along with damselflies) belong to the order Odonata, which means “toothed one” in Greek and refers to the dragonfly’s serrated teeth. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 2) Some scientists theorize that … It is the only species in the genus Pachydiplax. Their copulatory organs are on the underside of the abdomen, up around the second and third segments. Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News. Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) The Blue Dasher is one of the species of dragonflies that appears to migrate. They’re so efficient in their hunting that, in one Harvard University study, the dragonflies caught 90 to 95 percent of the prey released into their enclosure. Dragonflies are essentially harmless. The birds snatch their wings and consume the fleshy body part. Members are sometimes called King Skimmers because of their large size. The blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) is a common dragonfly of the skimmer family and widely distributed in the United States and Canada.Mature males have a blue-white abdomen and thorax. They are mostly found in the United States and the Bahamas and usually grow from 1 to 1.5 inches on average Dragonflies need to warm up in the sun before they fly in the morning. Blue Dasher. Flying insects are usually annoying. 13 ) Scientists have tracked migratory dragonflies by attaching tiny transmitters to wings with a combination of eyelash adhesive and superglue. If they can’t fly, they’ll starve because they only eat prey they catch while flying. Usually, the major diet of the dragonfly comes from the bloodworms and other aquatic insect larvae. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. Even better, these large-eyed aeronauts love to feed on pests like mosquitoes and midges for which we can be truly grateful—but those aren't the only interesting qualities that make them so fascinating. 2 ) Some scientists theorize that high oxygen levels during the Paleozoic era allowed dragonflies to grow to monster size. The colours and vibrancy of these and other dragonfly species stand out beautifully again the green landscape of the lotus plants. Learn interesting dragonfly facts, history, biology, diet, controversy, ... A close up of the compound eyes of a blue dasher dragonfly. In fact.. Dragonflies are a natural form of pest control. They grow to roughly 1.75 inches long. 4 ) In their larval stage, which can last up to two years, dragonflies are aquatic and eat just about anything—tadpoles, mosquitoes, fish, other insect larvae and even each other. Interesting facts about dragonflies. You will also see dashes of blue and yellow among the flying reds: the Blue Dasher (Brachydiplax chalybea) and Yellow-Barred Flutterer (Rhyothemis phyllis). Terms of Use 14 ) A dragonfly called the globe skinner has the longest migration of any insect—11,000 miles back and forth across the Indian Ocean. Little is known about this behavior, but the Dragonfly Swarm Project is collecting reports on swarms to better understand the behavior. Once hatched, the nymph dragonfly spends its time hunting other aquatic invertebrates. It is very common and widely distributed through North America and into the Bahamas. Dragonfly eyes are amazing. Females are recognized by the narrow yellow parallel stripes on the abdomen. Competition for females is fierce, leading male dragonflies to aggressively fend off other suitors. Many people wouldn’t consider dragonflies strange because they are so common and part of our daily summer lives. Blue dasher in Danbury, Connecticut, summer 2019. or Larger species even dine on the occasional small fish or tadpole. Both sexes have an amber patch at the base of each hindwing. Blue Dasher with background of Turk's Caphttps: ... Fossils of large dragonflies with 30 inch wingspans have been found dating back millions of years and artistic depictions of these jeweled insects have been. Dragonfly Facts Dragonfly Eyes Cute Funny Animals Funny Animal Pictures Hummingbird Symbolism Dragonfly Larvae Gossamer Wings Expo 2020 New Scientist. Birds and other predators consume a significant number of young dragonflies in the first few days after their emergence. Here are a couple shots of the male Blue Dasher: The blue color of the Blue Dasher is produced not by pigments, but by light scattering from the microscopic structures on its body—in much the same way that the scattering of light gives the sky its blue color. Male and Female Roseate Skimmers, Gilbert Water Ranch, Gilbert, AZ, 28 September 2014 ; Roseate Skimmer, Male, Wild Horse Pass, Maricopa, AZ, 1 September 2010 Likewise, the dragonfly nymph pulls water into its anus to facilitate gas exchange. I know I've talked about why I think dragonflies are the best insects before, but today I'm going to share 5 more fun… Adult- This dragonfly is small to medium in size, with a length of 1 3/8 to 1 13/16 inches (35 to 45 mm), and has a fairly broad abdomen. Photo by Melissa Flagg They also have a special area, directly in front of their compound eyes called ocelli that is flat and is concentrated with eye cells, which allows them to pinpoint insects as they fly. I say appears to migrate because large populations of Blue Dashers are seen in midsummer along the Atlantic Coast. 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This entry was posted in Insects, Interesting Facts/Thoughts and tagged beneficial insects, beneficial wildlife, blue dasher, damselfly, dragonflies, dragonfly, flame skimmer, green darner, insect predator, odonata, predators of other insects, symbolism of dragonfly, widow skimmer. I think they're amazing, beautiful creatures that deserve far more attention than they actually get. Should a challenger fly into his chosen habitat, the defending male will do all he can to chase away the competition. Conversely, during hot spells, some dragonflies strategically position themselves to minimize sun exposure, using their wings to deflect sunlight. This process takes several hours or days as the dragonfly expands to its full body capacity. These newly emerged dragonflies, known at this stage as teneral adults, are soft-bodied, pale, and highly vulnerable to predators. And I do! “Dragonflies -The Hawks of the Insect World Are Important Environmental Indicators.” Biophilia Foundation. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. They can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air. I am including them in the Birds of New England ‘stranger things’ series because of their awesomely menacing appearance and … Males develop a sky-blue (or Carolina-blue) abdomen when they approach maturity. The blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) is a dragonfly of the skimmer family. They cover most of the head and provide the dragonfly with a 360 degree view of their world. Dragonflies Thermoregulate Their Bodies. In nearly all insects, the male sex organs are located at the tip of the abdomen. A number of dragonfly species are known to migrate, either singly or en masse. How to Identify the Common Green Darner Dragonfly, How to Distinguish Between a Dragonfly and a Damselfly, Insects: The Most Diverse Animal Group in the Planet, 15 Misconceptions Kids (And Adults) Have About Insects, Dragonflies -The Hawks of the Insect World Are Important Environmental Indicators, B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University. They can flap each wing up and down, and rotate their wings forward and back on an axis. Time for some rapid fire fun dragonfly facts. 1 ) Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. Mosquitoes bite you, leaving itchy red welts. When the nymph expels water, it propels itself forward, providing the added benefit of locomotion to its breathing. A Dragonfly is a very good flyer and strong which can fly at the speed of 36 miles per hour. Male Dragonflies Have Multiple Sex Organs, 10. Females and immature males are greenish on the face and thorax, with a brownish black abdomen marked along the top with two parallel lines of pale yellow to … Some species even use their wings as reflectors, tilting them to direct the solar radiation toward their bodies. Zielinski, Sarah. After molting somewhere between six and 15 times, a dragonfly nymph is finally ready for adulthood and crawls out of the water to shed its final immature skin.. The wingspan of this creature is around 9 to 11.4 cm, and the length of the hind wing is about 4.5 to 5.6 cm. Griffenflies (Meganisoptera), the gigantic precursors to modern dragonflies had wingspans of over two feet and dotted the skies during the Carboniferous period over 300 million years ago., There's a good reason why you see dragonflies and damselflies around ponds and lakes: They're aquatic! When a nymph is finally ready for adulthood, it crawls out of the water onto a rock or plant stem and molts one final time. An image taken with a thermal camera shows how the male blue dasher dragonfly’s body warms due to the heat absorption of its darker wings. 7 ) Dragonflies catch their insect prey by grabbing it with their feet. Look for this species at ponds around town, perched on sticks and twigs over the water’s edge. Blue Dashers are members of the skimmer family – the largest family of dragonflies in the world – and they are one of the most common dragonflies in North America. The larger dragonfly larvae get the small and fry sometimes. 11 ) Dragonflies, which eat insects as adults, are a great control on the mosquito population. Blue dashers all have a white head with bluish-green eyes. Continue Description: Diet: Naiad-This is a relatively small naiad with a length of 3/4 to 7/8 inch (18 to 21 mm).It is brownish above and bright green underneath. In fact, the largest insect to ever exist was an ancient dragonfly (with an estimated wingspan of 28 inches! Prehistoric-looking dragonflies can be a little intimidating as they swoop about the summer skies. After mating, females lay eggs on the water; the dragonfly ’s immature stages are … 8 ) The flight of the dragonfly is so special that it has inspired engineers who dream of making robots that fly like dragonflies. A dragonfly can easily be identified by its long body, transparent wings and large compound eyes. The males have an abdomen that is thick and light blue. 6 ) Dragonflies are expert fliers. Thanks to two huge compound eyes, the dragonfly has nearly 360° vision and can see a wider spectrum of colors than humans. Each compound eye contains 28,000 lenses or ommatidia and a dragonfly uses about 80% of its brain to process all of the visual information it receives., Dragonflies are able to move each of their four wings independently. With a blog called The Dragonfly Woman, you might assume that I like odonates. Blue Dashers are one of the most abundant dragonflies in the U.S. and can be found near slow moving water sources, marshes and ponds. In some species, males claim and defend a territory against intrusion from other males. They can be found near still water almost anywhere from Mexico through southern Canada. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet. 5 ) At the end of its larval stage, the dragonfly crawls out of the water, then its exoskeleton cracks open and releases the insect’s abdomen, which had been packed in like a telescope. Perching dragonflies, on the other hand, who rely on solar energy for warmth, skillfully position their bodies to maximize the surface area exposed to sunlight. The males are constantly patrolling their territory, dashing out from their perch to challenge other dragonflies or large … They found that green darners from New Jersey traveled only every third day and an average of 7.5 miles per day (though one dragonfly traveled 100 miles in a single day). Pupke, Chris. Also known as the Blue Dasher is an insect of the dragonfly species that belongs to the skimmer family. Its four wings come out, and they dry and harden over the next several hours to days. The Blue Dasher strikes delightful poses for the photographer, and lands repeatedly on favorite perches. Adult males have a chalky, blue color from head to abdomen that ends with a black tip. Dragonflies can move straight up or down, fly backward, stop and hover, and make hairpin turns—at full speed or in slow motion. Dragonflies are carnivorous, and they eat a … Advertising Notice Once hatched, the nymph dragonfly spends its time hunting other aquatic invertebrates. Animals, Insects Interesting facts about dragonflies. “14 Fun Facts About Dragonflies.” Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Institution, 5 Oct. 2011. A dragonfly can fly forward at a speed of 100 body lengths per second (up to 30 miles per hour).. The wings of the Great Blue Skimmer have black bands and spots. The Blue Dasher dragonfly is the food for numerous animals like birds, frogs and lizards. 9 ) Some adult dragonflies live for only a few weeks while others live up to a year. The blue dasher is one of the most common and abundant dragonflies in the United States. Forced to follow the rains that replenish their breeding sites, the globe skimmer—one of several species that's known to spawn in temporary freshwater pools—set a new insect world record when a biologist documented its 11,000 mile trip between India and Africa.. There are more than 5,000 different species of dragonflies. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet. Not so in male dragonflies. In fact, according to one dragonfly myth, the uncanny creatures would sew up the lips of unsuspecting humans. A closeup of the compound eyes of a blue dasher dragonfly. In … Skimmers, clubtails, and petaltails scout out prime egg-laying locations around ponds. It’s estimated there are around 3,000 living species of dragonflies worldwide. Debbie Hadley is a science educator with 25 years of experience who has written on science topics for over a decade. Bees and wasps sting. Like all insects, dragonflies are technically ectotherms ("cold-blooded"), but that doesn't mean they're at the mercy of Mother Nature to keep them warm or cool. Mature naiads are well-camouflaged, (dorsal) hook free and relatively spine-less. Cookie Policy A single dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day. Of course, that's not even remotely true. A New Database Humanizes the Names Behind the Numbers, Long Heralded as an Abolitionist, Johns Hopkins Enslaved People, Records Show, Nine of the Weirdest Penises in the Animal Kingdom, Stunning Mosaic Found in England Shows Some Lived in Luxury During 'Dark Ages', Amateur Fossil Hunter Discovers New 'Sea Dragon' Species on British Beach, With a Mane and Strange Shoulder Rods, This New Dinosaur Was Quite a 'Little Show-Off', What the Pandemic Christmas of 1918 Looked Like, The Inspiring Quest to Revive the Hawaiian Language, The New Science of Our Ancient Bond With Dogs, Why Seagrass Could Be the Ocean's Secret Weapon Against Climate Change. They have a darker thorax, green eyes, white face, and the female has a broken yellow line along their abdomen. But with effective compound eyes, it can keep away from the predators and escape smoothly. Give a Gift. Size: 27 acres . Although the species name longipennis means "long wings", the wings are not substantially longer than those of related species.Females do, however, have a short abdomen that makes the wings appear … Dragonfly sperm, however, is stored in an opening of the ninth abdominal segment. California Do Not Sell My Info Until their bodies fully harden they are weak flyers, making them ripe for the picking. Dragonflies are insects that have large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, sometimes with colored patches and an elongated body. What Do Adult and Immature Dragonflies Eat? Privacy Statement The Blue Dasher dragonfly is a summer species. The brightly colored bodies of the Great Blue Skimmer are characteristic of most of the dragonflies in the Libellulidae family. In immature as well as female Darner, the abdomen is … 12 ) Hundreds of dragonflies of different species will gather in swarms, either for feeding or migration. 10 ) Nearly all of the dragonfly’s head is eye, so they have incredible vision that encompasses almost every angle except right behind them. The Blue Dasher, like many other species of dragonflies are not harmful towards humans. There is a public boat access on Stone Lake that allows one to canoe/kayak to East Stone Lake via the channel in spring/early summer before dense growths of Wild Rice grow thick enough to block passage. Blue Dasher Bog. Dragonfly Facts. A small blue dragonfly with a white face, a black tip to the abdomen, and a black-and-yellow-striped thorax. Blue dashers rarely sit in one spot for long. ). The damselfly nymph actually breathes through gills inside its rectum. Smithsonian Institution. 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