Visual Encyclopedia

Dragonfly

A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, infraorder Anisoptera (from Greek ἄνισος anisos "uneven" and πτερόν pteron, "wing", because the hindwing is broader than the forewing). Adult dragonflies are characterized by large, multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong, transparent wings, sometimes with colored patches, and an elongated body. Dragonflies can be mistaken for the related group, damselflies (Zygoptera), which are similar in structure, though usually lighter in build; however, the wings of most dragonflies are held flat and away from the body, while damselflies hold the wings folded at rest, along or above the abdomen. Dragonflies are agile fliers, while damselflies have a weaker, fluttery flight. Many dragonflies have brilliant iridescent or metallic colors produced by structural coloration, making them conspicuous in flight. An adult dragonfly’s compound eyes have nearly 24,000 ommatidia each.

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Dragonfly Love!

Looks like workout!

Contributed by Josh Milligan

covered in morning dew

Contributed by Beth Wiecher

Every year a pink-orange dragonfly appears around the pond in my garden. My guess is that the eggs are hatched every year near the pond but I don't know why there's always just one of them. Last year I was able to catch a photo of it as it hovered.

Contributed by Betty Chang

Dragonflies have six legs but can't walk

Contributed by Emily Carnevale

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