Prehistoric-looking dragonflies can be a little intimidating as they swoop about the summer skies. In fact, according to one dragonfly myth , the uncanny creatures would sew up the lips of unsuspecting humans. Of course, that's not even remotely true. Dragonflies are essentially harmless.
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10 Fascinating Facts About Dragonflies
Life Cycle and Biology - British Dragonfly Society
There are three stages in the life-cycle of all dragonflies: egg, larva also known as a nymph and adult. Female dragonflies can lay hundreds of eggs during their adult lives, in batches over a few days or even weeks. Endophytic eggs are elongated in shape and are laid into plant material. All damselflies and hawker dragonflies have scythe-like ovipositors and inject their eggs into plant stems or leaves, rotten wood or mud on or close to the surface of the water. Emerald damselflies and Migrant Hawkers inject their eggs into rush stems well above the water surface, while other hawkers lay into rotten wood or other debris just above the waterline see Brown Hawkers, right. The Golden-ringed Dragonfly lays its eggs by hovering vertically and stabbing its abdomen into stream-beds. Exophytic eggs are round in shape, laid in a jelly-like substance and are deposited loosely into water.
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Life Cycle of a Dragonfly
Adult dragonflies are characterized by large, multifaceted eyes , two pairs of strong, transparent wings , sometimes with coloured patches, and an elongated body. Dragonflies can be mistaken for the related group, damselflies Zygoptera , which are similar in structure, though usually lighter in build; however, the wings of most dragonflies are held flat and away from the body, while damselflies hold the wings folded at rest, along or above the abdomen. Dragonflies are agile fliers, while damselflies have a weaker, fluttery flight.
Dragonflies have been around for million years, making them one of the oldest species of insects in the world. Dragonflies have been so successful over the years that the only difference between modern and ancient dragonflies is size. One of the secrets to their success is how they mature. Dragonflies have three stages to their life: egg, nymph and adult. The length of each stage depends on the species of dragonfly.