Dragonflies two mostly transparent narrow wings withDragonflies two mostly transparent narrow wings with

Dragonflies were one of the first winged insects on the planet over 300 million years ago. They are one of the oldest insects to still exist and have not changed too much from their ancestors. They are classified as a part of the Arthropoda phylum – the largest phylum in the animal kingdom. Arthropods are found in almost every habitat, existing on every continent except Antarctica. They are also the only invertebrate capable of flight! Dragonflies have segmented bodies, made up of a head, thorax, and abdomen. They have a hard exoskeleton that support and provide protection to the dragonfly as well as combined with the muscle system helps with locomotion. They have six legs are located near their head and two mostly transparent narrow wings with a wingspan of up to 16cm. Their hindwings are much broader and larger than their forewings, they both contain veins which add strength and flexibility. Their wings remain extended when restings because they do not have hinges. They also have two large compound eyes that cover most of their heads and allow them to see all around themselves. Their eyes have 30000 lenses giving them 360 vision.  “more than 80% of their brain is devoted to analyzing”. Their colours range from metallics to pastels. Dragonflies are generalists and eat whatever is suitable, abundant and in region. This consists mostly of insects including termites, ants, mayflies, mosquitoes,  caddisflies, or gnals. The dragonflies that hunt the most are females developing eggs, and maturing larvae. However, temperature as a huge effect on there hunting. Dragonflies will only hunt when it is warm and _____. Prey is captured by their labium which is shot forward to grasp prey quickly. They are predators to birds, lizards, frogs, spiders, fish, water bugs, and even larger dragonflies.All species are completely harmless to humans because the cannot sting or bite. One benefit they provide to humans is that they assist in the control of pest insects potentially eliminating health risks. The presence of Dragonflies helps to determine the quality and health of the ecosystem. Since most of their lives are spent underwater, they require clean water to survive so their presence can tell humans the water quality. Healthy vegetation is also a must for survival so the absence of dragonflies could potentially mean there are pesticides and excessive nutrients, or various water contaminants from humans. Some inland fishermen will use dragonfly larvae as bait.The lifecycle of all Dragonflies begin with eggs. Dragonfly eggs are around 0.5mm long and usually laid on or above water. Most of a dragonflies life is spent in the larval stage which commonly lasts 1 – 2 years but can go up to 6 years depending on its surroundings. They were the first to develop hemimetabolous development, an incomplete form of metamorphosis where there is no pupal stage. As a nymph they have gills in their abdomen that expand and contracts to move water over its gills allowing shorts bursts for jet propulsion.In the larval stage, a Dragonfly will molt 6 – 15 times with its final molt when crawling out of the water and becoming an adult dragonfly with working shiny wings. For the first few days of being an adult they feed and fully develop their colour. They molt due to the fact that exoskeletons do not grow so they must shed the old one in order to grow a new one. They live as adults for less than a month, some living up to six months. Male sex organs are located on their abdomen near the second and third segment. Sperm on the otherhand is stored in an opening on the ninth segment of the abdomen. Therefore they must transfer the sperm prior to mating. Mating happens during tandem flight and the male holds the female by her head while flying. The mating process commonly last for 1 – 2 minutes although some species will mate for several hours. Males take the mating process quite seriously and are very territorial. They will attack and fight other males who try to invade there mating area possibly injuring them. The females will then mate with the best fighters. When they do decide to mate the male with transfer his sperm into the female creating a heart shaped “wheel” formation. During this he may also use his ______ which is on his penis to scoop out any sperm that is already in her from other males.Once the process is over the male will decide whether to leave the female or follow her around to ensure no other males remove his sperm and her eggs are laid. They continue to reproduce with whomever until death.Dragonflies are able to hover when flying as well as move in all directions, and turn quickly. They can fly around 100 body lengths per second forward, 3 body lengths per second backward, and hover for approximately 1 minute.Dragonflies are believed to belong to the order of Odonata which are some of the largest flying invertebrates to ever exist. Odonata are an order of aquatic palaeopterous insects and means “toothed one” and refers to their serrated teeth. Over 5,000 known species of dragonflies belong to the order of Odonata. Odonata have many distinguishing characteristics including, a minute antennae, very large eyes, 2 pairs of transparent wings with small veins, long slender abdomen, aquatic larval stage (nymph) with tracheal gills, and a hinged jaw (labium). The system of the head is Odonata are unique among arthropods and consist of a head and neck. The skeleton muscle and arrester immobilizes the head during feeding and mating. This is considered to be an adaptation to support the head tandem flight. Their mouths have also adapted for biting to make them efficient hunters _________. Other adaptations enable them to avoid predation as well as hunt prey, including exceptional visual responses and agile flight. The order of Odonata has 3 suborders, dragonflies are included in the Anisoptera suborder. One of the oldest recognizable fossils are Protodonata. They were similar to dragonflies in which they were fast flying, and had spiny legs. Although they were much longer with wingspans up to 75 cm and were thought to have gone extinct around the same time as dinosaurs.+