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domingo, 6 de julho de 2014

Everything About Damselflies / Dragonflies

 Dragonfly,or Damselfly  any insect of the order Odonata, which also includes the damselfly. Members of this order are generally large predatory insects and characteristically have chewing mouthparts and four membranous, net-veined wings; they undergo complete metamorphosis. Species are found throughout the world except in the polar regions; the greatest variety occurs in the tropics. Dragonflies, which are commonly called horse stingers and devil's darning needles, are strong fliers with elongated bodies; they rest with their wings outstretched. Some are 5 in. (12.7 cm) long. Damselflies are smaller, with slender, often brilliantly colored, bodies and rest with their wings folded back. Both lay eggs on or near water. The nymphs are aquatic and breathe by means of gills located at the end of the abdomen; the gills can also be used for propulsion through the water. The nymphs feed on insect larvae and are an important food for fish and birds. When grown, they crawl up out of the water and molt. Most species produce a single generation each year, with the nymph stage usually overwintering. Both nymphs and adults prey on mosquitoes and other insects and are harmless, indeed beneficial, to humans. Fossil remains of a form from the Permian period, with a wingspread of 2 1/2  ft (76 cm), were found in Kansas. Dragonflies are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Odonata. 

Dragonfly (also known as strip-eyes or damselfly, in Portugal, and as a laundress in Brazil) is a winged insect belonging to the suborder Anisoptera.

As distinguishing features include the fusiform body, with very elongated abdomen, compound eyes and two pairs of wings semitransparent. The dragonflies are predators and feed on other insects, including mosquitoes and flies. This group has a worldwide distribution and has a preference for habitats in the vicinity of bodies of stagnant water (ponds or temporary ponds), wetlands or near streams and creeks. Dragonfly larvae (called Naiades) are aquatic, carnivorous and extremely aggressive and can feed themselves not only insects but also of tadpoles and juvenile fish.

The dragonfly not have the ability to chop, since its jaws are adapted to chewing. Within its ecosystem, are quite useful in controlling mosquito populations and their other prey, thus providing an important service to man.

Adult dragonflies hunt based on your extremely keen sense of vision. Your eyes are composed of thousands of facets (up to 30,000) and give them a visual field of 360 degrees. Dragonflies measure between 2 and 19 cm wingspan and fastest species can fly about 85 km / h. One of its characteristics is that even having six legs, practically can not walk with them.1

The group emerged in Paleozoic, being very abundant in the Carboniferous period, and preserved until the present day the same general characteristics. The larger dragonflies always belong to the genus Meganeura, flourished in the Permian, and could reach wingspan 70-75 cm. His life span can reach 5 years. In Brazil there are about 1,200 species of an existing 5,000 Total worldwide. Predatory insects, including Aedes aegypti and even small fish. In a single day can consume other flying insects up to 14% of its own weight, about 600 of them in a single period of 24 hours.1

In Brazil is also known by the names: Pope-smoking helicopter tit-for-Jew, tit-the-devil, cut water, dragon-fly, Jacina, jacinta, lava-cu, odonata, monkey-of-Bamba, pito, zigzag or blind man's buff.

In addition to Portugal damselfly or dragonfly is known by the names: strip-eyes, valet, tit-of-witches, pita, among other local designations.

(The Information Source of Wikipedia)

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