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The summer is here and you can see that among other things by the flying dragonflies. Some even make sounds when flying, reminiscent of a helicopter. Of course not so loud. There are dragonflies in the most beautiful colors and if we have some water nearby, then we will certainly see a representative of this group of insects from time to time.
There are about 4,500 different species of dragonflies, of which only about 80 are known in our latitudes. As far as the basic physique is concerned, dragonflies hardly differ from other insects, but they have some important features that others do not have.
Characteristic features of the dragonfly
Let's start with the wings. The smallest dragonflies have only a span of two centimeters, the largest on the other hand show a proud width of almost twenty centimeters. They are able to move their pairs of wings independently. This makes it easy for dragonflies to change their direction abruptly or to stop in flight. They reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour due to their wings.
Another very important feature is the eyes of dragonflies. These are so-called compound eyes, which are very large and consist of many small single eyes. For some dragonfly species, 30,000 individual eyes were counted.
This is difficult to understand for us humans, but nature often sets up peculiar circumstances.
Between these big eyes the dragonfly also has three smaller point eyes. If you take all these eyes together, you can say that the dragonfly has probably the best sense of sight in the area of insects.
Habitat & food procurement of the dragonfly
- Dragonflies are often found near water, as their larvae depend on the water. But overall, they are not always near water, but they are found almost everywhere, even in cities.
- Dragonflies are predators, they catch their food, so their prey in flight. Looted prey are also other, smaller insects. Sometimes even own conspecifics are attacked.
- Maybe you have already seen that dragonflies like to stay in the warm sun. They actually do this with growing enthusiasm, because in the sun, they heat up their bodies, especially their muscles.
The pairing of dragonflies is exactly like hunting in flight. This too can often be seen as an attentive observer. The females lay mostly in the water from the eggs and thus it is certain that after the different larval stages depending on the species again next summer dragonflies find their way into your garden.
Dragonflies are under serious threat!
The life of the dragonflies also has a bitter aftertaste, almost two-thirds of the species known to us are endangered, which is partly due to the drainage of water and the immense pollution of the environment. Therefore, all species of dragonflies in Germany are under protection of species and may not be tortured or captured.
If you have dragonflies on your garden pond, then just enjoy their sight and tell your children that dragonflies are not dangerous in any way. They are completely non-toxic and do not sting. It's just a pleasure to see and hear the dragonflies in their gorgeous colors and shimmering wings.