Other Free Encyclopedias » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Diana to Dreadnought

Dragonfly

water shoot wingspan forward

Dragonfly, insect of the order Odonata, indentifiable by its long, slender, abdomen, 2 pairs of transparent wings, each covered in a network of veins, and large compound eyes, which may contain 30,000 separate facets. Dragonflies are superb fliers, some being credited with speeds of 60 mph (97 kmph), and can dart forward, hover, then shoot forward again. Each dragonfly patrols an area, usually near water, where it feeds on insects. The eggs are laid in water, and the nymphs (larvae) live underwater for a year or more. They have gills inside the intestine and can shoot water out of the rectum in a form of jet propulsion. The largest living dragonfly, from Borneo, has a 7-in (18-cm) wingspan, but fossilized remains have been found of a crow-sized dragonfly with a 27-in (68.6-cm) wingspan.

Drainage [next] [back] Dragon

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or