Mauritius photo of Macro photography of dragonfly in nature

Macro photography of dragonfly in nature

Photography by Photographer Nooruddiin Ruhomaun
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The dragonfly, a beautiful flying insect. The dragonfly is a valuable flying insect around aquatic areas because it is a predator of mosquitoes, which it catches in flight. Keeping them in the garden - especially around ponds - is important. The dragonfly (Epiproctophora) is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, which also includes the damselflies (Zygoptera). But in common parlance, when we speak of dragonflies, we make an amalgam with damselflies since all insects of this order have the characteristic of having an elongated body of a few centimeters with four transparent wings with serrated veins, a round head, short antennae, two globular eyes with facets and a crushing mouth apparatus. The latter is very useful to these carnivorous insectivorous predators that feed on flies, mosquitoes and other insects. The large dragonfly (Æshna cyanea) is about 7 cm long, and its dark brown body has yellow-green, green and blue spots. Damselflies have well-colored wings with metallic highlights on their bodies but their flight is less expert. Their wings can fold partially over their body, which is not the case with dragonfly wings, which cannot, so they always remain open even when the dragonfly is sitting. The front and back wings are independent and offer many possibilities: on the spot, front, back ... but especially make the dragonfly the fastest insect that is with peaks reaching 90 km / h. The larvae, also carnivorous (tadpoles...), develop in an aquatic environment whereas the adult insects are terrestrial even if they remain around wetlands, whether the water is stagnant or not (ponds, rivers...). In May, dragonflies lay their eggs (up to 500) on a stem of aquatic plant in the water and these larvae will eventually turn into an adult insect, but depending on the climatic conditions, it can take several years. However, once adult, the dragonfly rarely survives reproduction and dies in the fall. The dragonfly, natural mosquito repellent. Whether they are larvae or adults, dragonflies attack mosquitoes, both as larvae and adults, with efficiency, which prevents us from being invaded in the summer by waterways. Unfortunately, dragonflies tend to disappear because of the decrease of all the aquatic or not insects which are normally their preys, because of the excesses of pesticides, of the agricultural rearrangement, of the eutrophication of the natural environments, of the pollution of the rivers, of the reduction of the wetlands, of the draining of the marshes and the ponds... Its predators are mainly birds and spiders. If you have a water point in your garden, such as a pond, make sure that they can come and lay their eggs. To do this, your pond should not contain fish that are predators of dragonfly larvae. In addition, your pond should contain submerged plants for the larvae to lay their eggs, floating plants for the adults to settle and hunt, and emergent plants for the larvae to grow into adults. As summer approaches, the hum of dragonflies begins to be heard. Their wings carry them above the water, and they can sometimes be seen flying in tandem. This article reveals all the secrets of these mysterious creatures. The last count of our dragonflies was conducted in 2015. At that time, 70 species were on the panel. Since then, we have welcomed two new guests: the white-fronted leucorrhine showed up in 2016 in the nature reserve De Maten in Genk, and the white-styled orthetrum appeared the same year in Famenne. Dragonflies come in mini and maxi sizes, and every size in between. The precious goddess is the smallest and measures no more than 2 cm for a wingspan of 2.5 cm. Our national giant, the ringed cordulégastre, is 8.5 cm long, but the largest in terms of wingspan is the emperor anax with its 10.5 cm. 3. The damselfly is also a dragonfly. Hold on, because everything is complicated. The damselfly is indeed a dragonfly. It belongs to the order of Odonata, the same order that gathers the "true" dragonflies, even if it is not technically part of the species of dragonflies. Are you still following? The differentiation between dragonflies and damselflies? Now that you know the taxonomic distinction between the two, you may want to learn more about them. Damselflies have a slender body, almost as thin as a large needle. They have four identical wings that carry them silently. True dragonflies are better built, their hind wings are wider than their front wings and their flight is fast and acrobatic. Dragonflies spend more than half their lives underwater. These flying insects can only be seen in their imago form, their adult form. However, dragonflies spend the majority of their lives underwater: their eggs hatch and they then grow as larvae. This stage can last for years, during which time the future dragonflies eat, eat and eat. Their life is short. When the larva is ready for its great metamorphosis, it leaves the water. It climbs about ten centimeters, leaves its skin of young larva and begins its life of mature adult. And this one is of short duration: it ends after only several weeks or a few months. There are only a handful of species that can spend a single winter as an imago. 7. Dragonflies feed on insects. In the garden, they are a blessing against mosquito invasions. Dragonflies also eat other small insects such as flies and moths. The larger species even dare to attack butterflies or other dragonflies. As larvae, they eat water insects and other small aquatic animals.  They do not bite or sting. There is no need to be afraid of dragonflies. They do not have a stinger and therefore cannot sting. Their mandibles are just capable of catching small insects but are generally not powerful enough to pierce human skin, which is far too thick. Only the giant species could attack us, but they never use their mandibles to defend themselves. You'd have to really annoy them to make them decide to bite. 9. Tandems are ruthless. Two dragonflies clinging to each other are not Siamese twins, they are simply a couple caught in the act. And this one can be violent: the male clutches the female at the back of the head thanks to his appendix, which forces the female to follow him. When she in turn places her appendix under the male's abdomen, the couple forms a kind of heart. Spicy detail: Mister first removes the sperm of his predecessors before depositing his own semen. Their egg-laying is acrobatic to say the least. Dragonfly eggs need water to develop, but adult specimens are unable to swim. The females plunge their abdomen into the water and quickly pull it out to lay their eggs in the mud. See for yourself how this "sewing machine" accomplishes its task!

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1 comment

  • Comment Link Marie Guichard Wed, Jan 12 2022 posted by Marie Guichard

    Magnifique photo!

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