Arthropod

Dragonfly

Area: 
Worldwide, except in the polar regions
Habitat: 
Rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds
Food: 
Insects
Size: 
Up to 6 inches long
Babies: 
Larvae, called nymphs, don't have working wings and breathe underwater through gills.
Dragonflies lived on Earth even before the dinosaurs!
Nature's Colorful Helicopter

Dragonflies have two pairs of wings. Their wings are very thin and sheer, with small veins that crisscross to add strength. Dragonflies can beat their wings together or separately, which allows them to turn easily in the air, hover, and fly backward just like a helicopter. Some kinds of dragonflies can fly as fast as 20 miles per hour!

 

First thing in the morning, dragonflies can be seen basking in the sun to warm up. They can also make their own heat by shaking their wings. Once they have warmed up, it's time to get to work. They spend most of the day flying around to catch food. Dragonflies are almost always moving; if they stop zipping around, they could end up as a snack for some other animalAny living thing that is not a plant. Most animals can move about freely. All use plants or other animals as food. All have sensory organs.!

 

Dragonflies are beautiful to look at, but they are also important in our ecosystems. They help us monitor the health of bodies of freshwater, serve as an important link in the food web, and protect us from mosquitoes, gnats, and other pesky insects.