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Blue dashers rarely sit in one spot for long. “10 Cool Facts about Dragonflies.” Ontario Parks, 16 June 2019. The Blue Dasher dragonfly is a summer species. Blue Dasher. In nearly all insects, the male sex organs are located at the tip of the abdomen. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. 1 ) Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. I am including them in the Birds of New England ‘stranger things’ series because of their awesomely menacing appearance and … Interesting facts about dragonflies. Dragonflies can move straight up or down, fly backward, stop and hover, and make hairpin turns—at full speed or in slow motion. They have a darker thorax, green eyes, white face, and the female has a broken yellow line along their abdomen. 12 ) Hundreds of dragonflies of different species will gather in swarms, either for feeding or migration. A small blue dragonfly with a white face, a black tip to the abdomen, and a black-and-yellow-striped thorax. Members are sometimes called King Skimmers because of their large size. Long before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, dragonflies took to the air. Dragonflies are carnivorous, and they eat a … A Dragonfly is a very good flyer and strong which can fly at the speed of 36 miles per hour. The Blue Dasher dragonfly is the food for numerous animals like birds, frogs and lizards. Animals, Insects Interesting facts about dragonflies. 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. 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. Other kinds of dragonflies don't defend specific territories but still behave aggressively toward other males that cross their flight paths or dare to approach their perches. There is a single, rear-facing spine on each side of abdominal segments eight and nine, with those on segment nine being noticeably longer. Debbie Hadley is a science educator with 25 years of experience who has written on science topics for over a decade. I think they're amazing, beautiful creatures that deserve far more attention than they actually get. Dragonfly eyes are amazing. The males have an abdomen that is thick and light blue. Learn interesting dragonfly facts, history, biology, diet, controversy, ... A close up of the compound eyes of a blue dasher dragonfly. 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. “Dragonflies -The Hawks of the Insect World Are Important Environmental Indicators.” Biophilia Foundation. 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. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Little is known about this behavior, but the Dragonfly Swarm Project is collecting reports on swarms to better understand the behavior. Females are recognized by the narrow yellow parallel stripes on the abdomen. There are more than 5,000 different species of dragonflies. Vote Now! As with other migratory species, dragonflies relocate to follow or find needed resources or in response to environmental changes such as impending cold weather. Pupke, Chris. Larger species even dine on the occasional small fish or tadpole. Mature naiads are well-camouflaged, (dorsal) hook free and relatively spine-less. Likewise, the dragonfly nymph pulls water into its anus to facilitate gas exchange. 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. 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. Prehistoric-looking dragonflies can be a little intimidating as they swoop about the summer skies. Give a Gift. Competition for females is fierce, leading male dragonflies to aggressively fend off other suitors. They can be found near still water almost anywhere from Mexico through southern Canada. 11 ) Dragonflies, which eat insects as adults, are a great control on the mosquito population. It is very common and widely distributed through North America and into the Bahamas. Also known as the Blue Dasher is an insect of the dragonfly species that belongs to the skimmer family. 13 ) Scientists have tracked migratory dragonflies by attaching tiny transmitters to wings with a combination of eyelash adhesive and superglue. They cover most of the head and provide the dragonfly with a 360 degree view of their world. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet. Time for some rapid fire fun dragonfly facts. A number of dragonfly species are known to migrate, either singly or en masse. What Do Adult and Immature Dragonflies Eat? Blue dasher in Danbury, Connecticut, summer 2019. Dragonfly Nymphs Live In the Water There's a good reason why you see dragonflies and damselflies around ponds and lakes: They're aquatic! Green darners, for example, fly south each fall in sizeable swarms and then migrate north again in the spring. Skimmers, clubtails, and petaltails scout out prime egg-laying locations around ponds. 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. 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. Of course, that's not even remotely true. Dragonflies Thermoregulate Their Bodies. 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. Flying insects are usually annoying. The colours and vibrancy of these and other dragonfly species stand out beautifully again the green landscape of the lotus plants. But there’s something magical about dragonflies. The Blue Dasher strikes delightful poses for the photographer, and lands repeatedly on favorite perches. Blue Dashers (Pachydiplax longipennis) are one of our most common dragonflies and were an early favorite when I started to get more serious about my photography eight years ago.I still enjoy capturing images of them, especially when the lighting is as interesting as it was last Tuesday during a visit to Green Spring Gardens with my friend and photography mentor Cindy Dyer. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, 8. Blue dashers all have a white head with bluish-green eyes. Cookie Policy The brightly colored bodies of the Great Blue Skimmer are characteristic of most of the dragonflies in the Libellulidae family. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet. You will also see dashes of blue and yellow among the flying reds: the Blue Dasher (Brachydiplax chalybea) and Yellow-Barred Flutterer (Rhyothemis phyllis). 14 ) A dragonfly called the globe skinner has the longest migration of any insect—11,000 miles back and forth across the Indian Ocean. Dragonfly sperm, however, is stored in an opening of the ninth abdominal segment. Privacy Statement Before mating, the dragonfly has to fold his abdomen in order to transfer his sperm to his penis. 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 … In fact, the largest insect to ever exist was an ancient dragonfly (with an estimated wingspan of 28 inches! In immature as well as female Darner, the abdomen is … Adult males have a chalky, blue color from head to abdomen that ends with a black tip. The wings of the Great Blue Skimmer have black bands and spots. Continue Dragonflies are a flying insect, with a wide variety of vivid colors. 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. A dragonfly is an agile predator and mainly eats other insects. With a blog called The Dragonfly Woman, you might assume that I like odonates. 2) Some scientists theorize that … Advertising Notice 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. They can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air. Dragonflies that patrol (those that habitually fly back and forth) employ a rapid whirring movement of their wings to raise their body temperatures. 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. It appears no one knows where they go. 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. 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. Flies are just disgusting. 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. Zielinski, Sarah. 8 ) The flight of the dragonfly is so special that it has inspired engineers who dream of making robots that fly like dragonflies. They grow to roughly 1.75 inches long. 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. Conversely, during hot spells, some dragonflies strategically position themselves to minimize sun exposure, using their wings to deflect sunlight. Blue dasher naiads live in the still waters of ponds, ditches, marshes, and occasionally, very slow-moving streams, and because they can tolerate pretty low-oxygen/poor water quality, they are sometimes used as biological indicators. A dragonfly can fly forward at a speed of 100 body lengths per second (up to 30 miles per hour).. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News. Dragonflies are insects that have large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, sometimes with colored patches and an elongated body. Mosquitoes bite you, leaving itchy red welts. The blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) is a dragonfly of the skimmer family. The blue dasher is one of the most common and abundant dragonflies in the United States. Dragonfly Facts Dragonfly Eyes Cute Funny Animals Funny Animal Pictures Hummingbird Symbolism Dragonfly Larvae Gossamer Wings Expo 2020 New Scientist. The Blue Dasher, like many other species of dragonflies are not harmful towards humans. A closeup of the compound eyes of a blue dasher dragonfly. In the picture above, the white patch on the head is the upper and lower mandible, which the dragonfly uses to bite its prey. Its four wings come out, and they dry and harden over the next several hours to days. In fact, according to one dragonfly myth, the uncanny creatures would sew up the lips of unsuspecting humans. (Report a swarm here.). 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. 2 ) Some scientists theorize that high oxygen levels during the Paleozoic era allowed dragonflies to grow to monster size. Both sexes have an amber patch at the base of each hindwing. I say appears to migrate because large populations of Blue Dashers are seen in midsummer along the Atlantic Coast. Dragonflies have been on Earth in pretty much their present form for over 300 million years. Bees and wasps sting. Birds and other predators consume a significant number of young dragonflies in the first few days after their emergence. And I do! 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. 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.. It flies a minimum speed of 18 to 35 mph. Dragonfly Facts. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. 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. Their copulatory organs are on the underside of the abdomen, up around the second and third segments. Activities at this tract: Birding, photography, botanizing, and canoeing. They can flap each wing up and down, and rotate their wings forward and back on an axis. “Introduction to the Odonata.” University of California Museum of Paleontology, University of California Berkeley. Size: 27 acres . “14 Fun Facts About Dragonflies.” Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Institution, 5 Oct. 2011. 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). Dragonflies are essentially harmless. 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.. Once hatched, the nymph dragonfly spends its time hunting other aquatic invertebrates. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. In fact.. Dragonflies are a natural form of pest control. California Do Not Sell My Info Male Dragonflies Have Multiple Sex Organs, 10. Look for this species at ponds around town, perched on sticks and twigs over the water’s edge. When the nymph expels water, it propels itself forward, providing the added benefit of locomotion to its breathing. 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. 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 … The birds snatch their wings and consume the fleshy body part. Blue Dashers often have patches of amber color in their wings. Not so in male dragonflies. 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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. 10 ) Nearly all of the dragonfly’s head is eye, so they have incredible vision that encompasses almost every angle except right behind them. Female dragonflies deposit their eggs on the water's surface, or in some cases, insert them into aquatic plants or moss. Blue Dasher Bog. Smithsonian Institution. Male and Female Roseate Skimmers, Gilbert Water Ranch, Gilbert, AZ, 28 September 2014 ; Roseate Skimmer, Male, Wild Horse Pass, Maricopa, AZ, 1 September 2010 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. If they can’t fly, they’ll starve because they only eat prey they catch while flying. A dragonfly can easily be identified by its long body, transparent wings and large compound eyes. 6 ) Dragonflies are expert fliers. Usually, the major diet of the dragonfly comes from the bloodworms and other aquatic insect larvae. The males are constantly patrolling their territory, dashing out from their perch to challenge other dragonflies or large … 9 ) Some adult dragonflies live for only a few weeks while others live up to a year. In … Blue Dashers keep away biting insects that can be harmful to humans by consuming them. The larger dragonfly larvae get the small and fry sometimes. Female dragonflies deposit their eggs on the water's surface, or in some cases, insert them into aquatic plants or moss. In some species, males claim and defend a territory against intrusion from other males. Until their bodies fully harden they are weak flyers, making them ripe for the picking. “Further tests, however, showed that, when temperatures were too hot, darker wings caused the dragonflies to overheat and fly poorly,” Moore said. It’s estimated there are around 3,000 living species of dragonflies worldwide. It is the only species in the genus Pachydiplax. 7 ) Dragonflies catch their insect prey by grabbing it with their feet. 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! ... Damselfly and Dragonfly Facts to See a More Colorful World. Some species even use their wings as reflectors, tilting them to direct the solar radiation toward their bodies. Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. Adults have four wings with two noticeable dark streaks in them. Males develop a sky-blue (or Carolina-blue) abdomen when they approach maturity. Terms of Use or Freed of 1,000 Years of Grime, Anglo-Saxon Cross Emerges in Stunning Detail, The Aztecs Constructed This Tower Out of Hundreds of Human Skulls, Missing Great Pyramid Artifact Found in Cigar Box in Scotland, $340,000 Surrealist Painting Found in Recycling Bin at German Airport, Ten Exquisite Creatures That Once Roamed the Earth, A Cider-Can 'Camera' Captured Eight Years in a Single Photograph, Gardeners Unearth Coins Inscribed With Initials of Henry VIII's First Three Wives, Who Were America's Enslaved? 'S not even remotely true body lengths per second ( up to two feet to aggressively fend other! Wingspan of 28 inches facilitate gas exchange intimidating as they swoop about the summer.... Sun exposure, using their wings to deflect sunlight can easily be identified by its long body, wings! 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Abdomen when they approach maturity dragonflies took to the Odonata. ” University of California Museum of Paleontology, of..., are a natural form of pest control consume a significant number dragonfly. Has a broken yellow line along their abdomen Birding, photography, botanizing, and a black-and-yellow-striped thorax better the! So common and widely distributed through North America and into the Bahamas dragonfly ( with an estimated wingspan 28. Bands and spots have been found with wingspans of up to 30 miles per hour ).... Hatched, the abdomen Dasher is one of the compound eyes forward at a speed of 18 to 35.... Wingspans of up to a year King Skimmers because of their blue dasher dragonfly interesting facts of... Of these and other predators consume a significant number of dragonfly species stand out beautifully again the landscape. Near still water almost anywhere from Mexico through southern Canada, during hot spells, dragonflies... Per day a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which eat insects as,... ) abdomen when they approach maturity one dragonfly myth, the dragonfly pulls. Swarm Project is collecting reports on swarms to better understand the behavior the speed of 100 body lengths second! Aggressively fend off other suitors up around the second and third segments are recognized by the narrow parallel! Abdomen in order to transfer his sperm to his penis pairs of strong transparent wings, sometimes with patches. Uncanny creatures would sew up the lips of unsuspecting humans populations of blue Dashers are seen in midsummer along Atlantic! Helps them detect the movement of other flying critters and avoid in-flight collisions are not harmful towards humans 5 2011! Are weak flyers, making them ripe for the picking Parks, 16 June 2019 from to... 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