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any insectinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
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 of the order Odonata, which also includes the damselfly. Members of this order are generally large predatory insects and characteristically have chewing mouthparts and four membranous, net-veined wings; they undergo complete metamorphosismetamorphosis
[Gr.,=transformation], in zoology, term used to describe a form of development from egg to adult in which there is a series of distinct stages. Many insects, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, and fishes undergo metamorphosis, which may involve a change in habitat,
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. Species are found throughout the world except in the polar regions; the greatest variety occurs in the tropics.

Dragonflies, which are commonly called horse stingers and devil's darning needles, are strong fliers with elongated bodies; they rest with their wings outstretched. Some are 5 in. (12.7 cm) long. Damselflies are generally smaller, with slender, often brilliantly colored, bodies and rest with their wings folded back. The giant helicopter damselfly of tropical America has a wingspan of 7.5 in. (19 cm).

Both dragonflies and damselflies lay eggs on or near water. The nymphs are aquatic and breathe by means of gills located at the end of the abdomen; the gills can also be used for propulsion through the water. The nymphs feed on insect larvae and are an important food for fish and birds. When grown, they crawl up out of the water and molt. Most species produce a single generation each year, with the nymph stage usually overwintering. Both nymphs and adults prey on mosquitoes and other insects and are harmless, indeed beneficial, to humans.

Fossil remains of a form from the Permian period, with a wingspread of 2 1-2 ft (76 cm), have been found. Modern dragonflies and damselflies are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Odonata.


(invertebrate zoology)
Any of the insects composing six families of the suborder Anisoptera and having four large, membranous wings and compound eyes that provide keen vision.


1. any predatory insect of the suborder Anisoptera, having a large head and eyes, a long slender body, two pairs of iridescent wings that are outspread at rest, and aquatic larvae: order Odonata
2. any other insect of the order Odonata
References in periodicals archive ?
Dragonflies tend to grow near summer crops like cotton and rice, according to experts, and prey on ants, butterflies, mosquitos and other insect species which post a threat to agriculture.
Ruddy Darter dragonflies are widespread in England but rarely seen in North Wales west of the Clwydian hills.
'In a lot of dragonflies, males try to seize the female with or without consent,' Rassim Khelifa, a biologist at the University of Zurich , was quoted as saying in the report.
Dragonflies are key components of freshwater ecosystem.
Dragonflies and damselflies comprise one of the most distinctive and intriguing groups in the animal kingdom.
Dragonflies spend most of their lives underwater in their larval form.
With the emergence of several other Genoa reared dragonflies off-site at the University of South Dakota's Lockport Prairie location, the hatchery team continues to work with their partners on scaling up the operation so more dragonflies can be produced annually, to be returned to their natural habitat where they will help to bolster wild populations.
The mobile phone app, iRecord Dragonflies, is being launched to help people identify and record sightings of the insects as part of efforts to study and conserve them.
Despite the name, dragonflies are benign by nature and names such as 'hawker', 'chaser', 'skimmer' and 'darter' reflect more accurately their behaviour and characteristics.
As mosquito hunters, dragonflies are valuable allies.
There are two (2) school (elementary school and junior high school Pesucen Pesucen) around the village Kalongan Pesucen and one (1) school (SMA Negeri 2 Giri Banyuwangi) in the city of Banyuwangi is involved in the conservation of dragonflies.