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Killer beasties
22 Aug 2010, 11:14 AM,
Killer beasties
Dragonflies and Damselfies together comprise the ancient insect order of Odonata, affectionately referred to as "Odes".

Every bit as fascinating as birds, there are about 450 N American species of this predatory tribe. Dragonflies can fly in six directions, including forward at about 100 body-lengths per second, and backwards at about 3 body-lengths per second. They are also capable of hovering in the air for about a minute.

Dragonflies' exceptional visual and flight capabilities are necessary for survival. Voracious carnivores, they prey mostly on flies, but are themselves prey to birds, amphibians, fish and even other dragonflies!

[Image: dragonfly_partsof.jpg]

Although we are most impressed by the brief aerial stage of their life cycle, the aquatic stage is also fascinating with some species spending five years underwater before emerging. There is a great primer on the complete life cycle here.

Click here for a guide to Arizona Odes.

23 Sep 2010, 7:35 PM,
I had no idea about the underwater stage - thanks Roger!
10 Nov 2014, 9:32 PM,
RE: Killer beasties
Good info. The link to Arizona Odes needs to be fixed.
15 Nov 2014, 6:12 AM,
RE: Killer beasties
Link repaired. The AZ Odonata website has been revamped.

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