The dragonfly is an easily recognizable insect as it i big in size, has translucent wings and big, compound eyes.
It is justifiably popular with gardeners, as it is an excellent predator, both as a larva and as an adult. Beloning to the odonata order of insects, it can be either of the zygoptera sub-order or the anisoptera sub-order. The difference bewteen these two sub-orders is seen mainly in the form of the eyes and in the posture wings when resting (the zygoptera folds them over the body, while the anisoptera poses them horizontally).
Whatever the sub-order, the dragonfly is big in size, with a wingspan of up to 110 mms..The adult has an elongated body with two pairs of generally transparent wings. For two basic reasons, it lives close to water (a river, a pond, a pool, etc.).
The first reason is that it lays its eggs in an aquatic environment. The second is that water attracts many insects, and is thus an excellent hunting ground. It has a very refined technique for hunting flies and mosquitos, which it adores, in full flight. Its big compound eyes give it a piercing eyesight. It can easily remain in flight without moving, before descending on its prey.
The dragonfly is indirectly inseminated. The male injects its sperm into a special bag on the female’s abdomen. The sperm is stored without being fertilized. Fertilization is carried out by the female when the conditions are right, usually during the month of May. A female can lay up to 600 eggs, depending on the species. The eggs are deposited on the water, where the larvae are hatched. These go through several stages of transformation.
Depending on the species, the mutations can last from several monrths to several years. The larva is a voracious predator during its time in the water. It mainly feeds on the larvae of midges. The last transformation takes place out of the water.
Unlike the butterfly, the larvae don’t go through the pupal stage. The passage from larva to dragonfly is the ultimate mutation, called the imaginal mutation.