Did you know there are over 5000 different varieties of dragonflies? Not me! Borrowing information from a web site about dragonflies I have learned some amazing facts. Dragonflies belong to the order Odonata, which means “toothed one” in Greek and refers to the dragonfly’s serrated teeth. Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet. In their larval stage, which can last up to two years, they are aquatic and eat most anything – tadpoles, mosquitoes and other insect larvae. At the end of the larval stage they will crawl out of the water, then its exoskeleton cracks open and releases the insect’s abdomen, which had been packed in like a telescope. Its four wings come out, and they dry and harden over the next several hours to days. Dragonflies are expert fliers. They can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air. If they can’t fly, they’ll starve because they only eat prey they catch while flying. Dragonflies catch their insect prey by grabbing it with their feet. Some adult dragonflies live for only a few weeks while others live up to a year. Nearly all of the dragonfly’s head is eye, so they have incredible vision that encompasses almost every angle right behind them. Dragonflies offer great control of the mosquito population. A single dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day.
Putting all this scientific information aside, I hope you enjoy my shot of this dragonfly whose natural beauty is breathtaking.
ISO 100 Focal length 300mm Aperture f/13 Shutter speed 1/30