Dragonflies can intercept prey mid-air
Dragonflies are flat out terrifying if you’re a gnat, mosquito or other small bug. They don’t simply chase down their prey. Instead, they snag them from the air with calculated aerial ambushes. Dragonflies can judge the speed and trajectory of a prey target and adjust their flight to intercept prey. They’re so skilled that they have up to a 95 percent success rate when hunting.
A dragonfly’s head is all eyes
f you look at a dragonfly’s head, you might notice one thing in particular. Or rather, 30,000 things in particular.
The area of an odonate’s head is comprised primarily of its enormous compound eyes, which contain 30,000 facets, each bringing in information about the insect’s surroundings. Dragonflies have near-360-degree vision, with just one blind spot directly behind them. This extraordinary vision is one reason why they’re able to keep a watch on a single insect within a swarm and go after it while avoiding mid-air collisions with other insects in the swarm.
Some dragonfly species lay eggs in saltwater
Entomologist Chris Goforth writes, “There are very, very few insects that live in the ocean. Several ideas have been proposed to explain why … but one of the obvious reasons is that ocean water is salty and some insects might not be able to handle it. That doesn’t seem to be a problem for some dragonflies though! Some species, such as the seaside dragonlet (Erythrodiplax berenicei) can successfully produce offspring in water many times saltier than the ocean.”
Indeed, the seaside dragonlet is a stand-out species because its habitat consists of salt marshes, mangroves and saline lakes. It’s the only dragonfly species in North America (but not in the world) with a range that’s restricted to salty habitats.
Dragonflies breath through their abdomen
Dragonflies breath through spiracles which are tiny holes located on their abdomen. They can beat each pair of wings together or separately and their rear wings can be out of phase with the front wings. Their wing beat is around 50 – 90 beats per second.
Because the sets of wings operate independently, dragonflies can hover in one place for up to a minute. Dragonflies can also fly backward and sideways and change directions. The backward speed is approximately three body lengths per second, while the forward flight speed can reach up to 100 body lengths per second. Dragonflies do not walk.
Weather and Behavior
Dragonflies are known to be strongly affected by changes in weather. Changes in weather throughout the day can have a significant impact on how a population of odonates behaves. In fact, weather plays such a huge role in odonate behavior that you see some variation on this sentence in countless scientific papers:
As most of you reading this will know, t’s a nice sunny day they will fly hight, but before rain or the weather deteriorates they will more fly lower
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