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Related to Odonata: order Odonata, Plecoptera


(invertebrate zoology)
The dragonflies, an order of the class Insecta, characterized by a head with large compound eyes, and wings with clear or transparent membranes traversed by networks of veins.



(dragonflies and damselflies), an order of predatory insects capable of rapid flight. The large insects have a mobile head, large eyes, short bristle-like antennae, four transparent wings richly netted with veins, and a long, slender abdomen.

There are three suborders: Zygoptera, Anisoptera, and Aniso-zygoptera. The last suborder is common in Japan and India and includes a single genus, whose forms combine the features of the first two suborders. The Zygoptera have narrow fore and hind wings of nearly the same shape, which are pressed together and raised upward when at rest. In the Anisoptera the wings differ in shape and lie horizontally when at rest; the base of the hind wings is wide. The wing and the abdomen measure 10–94 and 14–120 mm long, respectively.

Dragonflies and damselflies feed on other insects that they seize in flight. They are considered beneficial owing to their destruction of mosquitoes, black flies, and other injurious insects. The insects do, however, spread protogonimosis, a dangerous disease of poultry.

Dragonflies copulate while in flight. The secondary copulative apparatus of the males is highly specialized and has no analogues among other insects. The eggs are laid in water, in the tissues of aquatic plants, or, less commonly, in wet soil. The larvae develop in water and breathe by means of gills. Zygoptera larvae have the trachéal gills at the caudal end, and the Anisoptera larvae have the rectal tracheal gills on the walls of the rectum, which is periodically filled with water. Metamorphosis is incomplete. The larvae have a very long lower lip that forms a prehensile organ, the mask, which protrudes when seizing prey and conceals the jaws when at rest. The larvae are predators, feeding on aquatic insect larvae and, sometimes, attacking tadpoles and fry. They serve, in turn, as food for fish.

At the end of the developmental period, the larvae emerge from the water and attach themselves to plants or uneven places in soil. The last molting occurs on land near a body of water. Some species can fly great distances away from water. During mass flights Libellula quadrimaculata forms a dense swarm stretching dozens of kilometers.

There are about 4,500 species, most of which inhabit the tropics and humid subtropics. About 165 species are widely distributed throughout the USSR except in arid regions.


Zhizri zhivotnykh, vol. 3. Moscow, 1969. Pages 254–59.


References in periodicals archive ?
The purpose of this current study is to identify the habitat factors that may be correlated with species commonness for Odonata in the state of Illinois.
2012a Odonata collected around the Borneo Highlands Resort on Gunung Penrissen, Kuching Division, Sarawak, Malaysia in July 2012.
The genus Cloeon was the only representative of the mayfly families that occurred on a regular basis and the damselfly Ceragrion, also a member of the order Odonata, was often present as well.
Processing and Identification of Specimens--After collection, most specimens were stored in a freezer until they could be sorted and identified, with the exception of pitfall, malaise trap, leaf-litter, and Odonata and Lepidoptera samples.
Odonata larvae are one of the main predators in the marginal zone, being recorded on the sediment and especially associated with aquatic plants in both permanent and temporary environments (CORBET, 1999).
1999); and insects of several orders, including Lepidoptera, Heteroptera, and Odonata (Perez et al.
Gwesynnod ydi'r 'dragonflies' a mursennod ydi'r 'damselflies' ac maen nhw i gyd yn perthyn i Urdd yr Odonata.
We investigated whether the presence of chemical cues released from the skin of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, placed in a normally fishless stream could influence the tendency of benthic macroinvertebrates from clades Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, and Odonata to drift.
They also highlight modern collecting efforts and provide suggestions for the conservation of their 32 species of Odonata.
Capturing Quicksilver: A Photographic Survey of Mid-Michigan Odonata.
Dragonflies belong to the order Odonata, which includes dragonflies (suborder Anisoptera) and damselflies (suborder Zygoptera).
Mississippi was quoted recently as one of the most under-surveyed states for Odonata (Donnelly, 2002).