Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DragonFlies....Beautiful creatures that amaze

Dragonflies are one of those amazing creatures that has existed on earth for millions of years.   There are over 5,500 different species mostly tropical , and 120 have been found across the pond in Europe.   They come in all sizes , colors belonging to order of Odonata meaning toothed jaw. There are three suborders , Zygoptera which means equal wings, and there are 20 families in that , which lends itself to over 2,500 species around the world. They are  Primitive freshwater insects, that when most people see them are just overwhelmed at the beauty of them.  They have many nicknames , some being SkeeterHawk,darner, devil’s darning needle, devil's arrow, Mosquito Hawk, Snake doctors.

Suborder two is Anisoptera which means unequal wings the fore wings are narrower than the hind wings , their eyes take which take up most of their head and their wings are open during rest. The eight families of this sub order contains approximately 2,700 species.
 The third suborder is Anisozygoptera, only has two living species and they are found in the Himalayas and Japan.
The Permian Period from 250 million years ago is where today's Dragonflies contemporaries, their ancestors being Protodonata a giant Dragonfly with a wingspan of over 39 inches , 300 million years ago.

The sense their world through their eyes and the amazing stamina and flight skills put them above many insects ...they are exquisite creatures that never cease to amaze you when you see them because of their delicate flight and resting patterns.  But what seems to amaze most of us is the unbelievable variety of colors, and size.   Some are the size of small hummingbirds and you know they are there.
On my recent trips to the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge , I was blessed to see so many different ones and experience them in their world .

The following photos are just a few examples I was able to record to share with you .

This one would not move to a plant ...but he was such a pretty blue that camouflaged him perfectly
 Dragonfly Habitats ...where you will see them ....in the pictures below

This area in the canals at Alligator Wildlife Refuge had a a Fetch of small blue dragonflies hanging out here unfortunately I could not get close enough to capture the picture.

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