Types of dragonflies: names and photos. Representatives of the dragonfly squad
Dragonflies are the oldest insect predators: the remains of their distant ancestors discovered by archaeologists date back to the Carboniferous period (350-300 million years ago). However, the long years of evolution had practically no effect on the appearance of dragonflies, so these creatures are classified as primitive. To date, scientists have discovered and classified more than 5,000 species of these insects. But the types of dragonflies, which can be observed in the European part of Russia, are very few: there are no more than a hundred of them. These insects prefer a tropical climate, so the vast majority of them inhabit the humid forests of South America and Southeast Asia. In regions with arid climate, dragonflies are not found.
Without exception, all types of dragonflies (and both nymphs and adults) feed on insects, often bloodsucking (gadflies, mosquitoes, midges). The shape of the body of a dragonfly is ideally suited for hunting on the fly.These insects are “lean”, with a pronounced chest and an extended abdomen. The head of a dragonfly is very mobile. There are two complex faceted eyes on it, allowing the insect to see everything that happens around and behind, and between these two are the usual ones used for orientation in space. The organs of view are arranged so that the dragonfly sees best against the sky. Therefore, it attacks the victim from below. The insect has a powerful mouth (“gnawing,” as scientists say), short antennae and stiff legs covered with hairs that help to capture prey. Each representative of the detachment has two pairs of wings that are equally well developed. This means that it is a biimotor insect. Dragonfly can fly at a speed of more than 55 km / h.
There are three suborder dragonflies. The first of them is the same wing. It includes graceful, light and, as a rule, small insects with a very elongated belly. Both pairs of wings are identical in size and shape; at rest, the dragonfly folds them behind so that they form an acute angle with the back surface. Even-winged fly slowly and smoothly.Among them are such types of dragonflies, as the graceful arrow, the pretty girl and the manhole are dull. Nymphs of even wings living in water have a special respiratory organ located at the end of the abdomen - tail gills.
Wings and Anisozygoptera
The second suborder is razokrylye. They have a powerful body, and the base of the hind wings is expanded. Eyes often touch. Flight speed in raznokrylyh high. At rest, the wings of these dragonflies are spread apart. The larvae of many-winged dragonflies live in the mud and breathe with the help of rectal gills. It is worth mentioning some types of dragonflies belonging to the mixed wings. This is an old man, a large beam, a bronze grandmother, a blood dragonfly.
Representatives of the third sub-order (Anisozygoptera) combine the features of the first two, although outwardly they are closer to those of different wings. In Russia, these dragonflies do not live.
In general, the dragonfly squad is distinguished from other insect squads by its aesthetic merits. And it’s impossible to admire the representatives of the family of beauties. For example, female beauties are small (up to 5 cm long), thin, single winged dragonflies with a wingspan of no more than 7 cm.The torso and wings of the males are painted in blue, green, purple hues and have a metallic sheen.
In females, the body is colored and the wings are not. Beauties prefer overgrown banks of quiet rivers and small streams. Eggs they lay in the leaves of coastal plants; the larvae also try to keep close to the stems and roots. The flight of a beautiful girl resembles the flight of a butterfly.
The arrows are not as spectacular as beauties, but as graceful dragonflies. A graceful photo of the arrow, placed below, confirms this fact.
The arrows lead the same way of life as beauties, except that the prey is chosen more modestly. And it is not surprising, because the body length of the elegant arrow is only 3.5 cm, while the wingspan is 4.5 cm. The male has an elongated blue breast with a longitudinal black stripe and a black belly, as if intercepted by thin blue rings. The wings are narrow and transparent. Some females have similar coloration, others are rather inexpressively colored and have neither bands nor rings. The arrows fly slowly and rarely leave their homes. Their larvae live and hunt in the stems and roots of aquatic plants.Distinguishing one species from another within the framework of this family is not an easy task. But it’s impossible to confuse with another family of arrows.
To this family from the suborder of different wings belong numerous species of dragonflies. Their names speak for themselves: marsh, flat, bloody. These insects are distinguished by a massive, wide and relatively short body, wings slightly displaced to the head and the presence of dark spots at their base. The female of this dragonfly lays eggs directly in the water of a pond or a quiet river, and sometimes in coastal sand. Large nymphs of these dragonflies live in the mud. The flat dragonfly is a medium-sized insect. The wingspan is 8 cm, body length is 4.5 cm. Both females and males have a brownish-yellow chest, but the abdomen of the male is covered with bright blue pollen, while the abdomen of the female is brown, with dark stripes on the sides. At the base of both pairs of wings are dark triangles. The eyes are greenish.
Other representatives of the family - blood dragonflies (photo below) are quite remarkable. They are easily recognizable by the bright color of the body - reddish yellow, orange or brownish red.
These dragonflies are one of the most recent. They are active from mid-summer until November. The transformation of blood dragonfly larvae into imago occurs in just a couple of months.
Among the features of these dragonflies are the variegated color, widely spaced eyes and the presence of a notch at the base of the hind wings of the males. The daughters are capable of long flights and prefer flowing reservoirs with clear water, where the females lay eggs right on the fly.
Dedik ordinary, Dedy tail and horned - the most common types of dragonflies in Central Russia. These names sound funny (as well as “grandmother metal” or “grandmother bronze”), but it must be kept in mind that grandfather is also called riverman and grandmothers are patrollers. Dedok ordinary - black and yellow dragonfly with transparent wings. Coloring vaguely resembles aspen.
Dyedal larvae are voracious, strong and able to burrow into soft sludge. And adult grandfathers, oddly enough, are short-lived. They live no longer than a month.
These are big, bright and expressively painted dragonflies. Representatives of the dragonfly squad rarely have such stamina: rockers can fly away many miles from their native water body (it happened that they were seen over the ocean).The size of these insects also inspire respect: the wingspan of the patrol sovereign (or emperor) reaches 8 cm.
The breast of the patrol is greenish, the belly is blue, with a yellow ring. The wings of the males are absolutely colorless, while the females have barely yellowish. The organs of sight are bluish-green. Dozorschiki live in stagnant, often drying up reservoirs. Eggs they lay in the rotting tissues of plants submerged in water. Their large larvae are able to cope even with fish fry.
In addition to those mentioned above, in the European part of Russia there are representatives of such families as: headstock, hatches, cordulegasterides. All dragonflies are considered useful. They eat blood-sucking insects and pests and, in turn, are food for birds and fish.