Everything you need to know about Dragonflies
Dragonflies are one of the most fascinating beings on the planet. These insects have been on Earth before the dinosaurs appeared, and the oldest fossil is the Carboniferous which places them in a presence of more than 320 million years.
They are capable of flying at speeds of up to 90 km/hour and traveling thousands of kilometers and their flight is so extraordinarily complex that, despite the studies being carried out, it has not been possible to discover the secret of its complexity. They can make turns in all directions, stop in dry and leave at high speed. They have 4 wings that move at different speeds and in different ways, each of them is independent which allows them to have unique maneuverability in the animal kingdom. It is so to the point that the complexity of its flight is studied for its application in aeronautical technology.
The larvae of Dragonfly live in the freshwater of rivers and ponds for about three years, until one day they emerge and turn into beautiful flying insects through an extraordinary metamorphosis.
Metamorphosis of the dragonfly ... the path from girl to woman
The nymph comes out of its freshwater and abandons all the tools of that shell that protected it and made it a fearsome predator in the water, to become a matter of one hour in a beautiful flying insect with surprising and unique characteristics.
The dragonfly has become a beautiful teenager that has 4 wings that allow it to fly harmoniously, a strong trunk to move and eyes with 360-degree vision. It is ready to hunt outdoors and to find a mate.
The passage from girl to woman of the dragonflies is, possibly, the most radical and beautiful evolutionary process of nature, going from being a larva perfectly designed for aquatic life to a beautiful animal with all the capacities for flight ... and all in one hour of time. Once it opens its wings it will not close them again, and it will not walk again, its legs will only use them to perch and to catch prey. It is a process of absolutely amazing maturity.
The mating of the dragonflies
The dragonflies always look for humid reproduction environments, so courtship always occurs in rivers and ponds. The male tries to attract attention with the sound of the flutter and, once the female poses, will try to approach from behind. If the courtship is successful, the male is placed on top of the female and, bending his abdomen, he catches it by the neck with his anal appendages, the position called "tandem". The moment of copulation occurs when the male approaches the end of his abdomen to that of the female to move his sperm. Curiously, the posture they adopt at the moment of copulation (in the image) draws the shape of a heart, the universal symbol of love.
In copulation and for a few seconds, this is one of the most extraordinary behaviors of the animal kingdom will take place. The male, through a spoon-like appendage, will try to eliminate any sperm than any other male could have left, and only when he verifies it will he introduce his sperm into the female.
From this moment, the female will lay eggs in rivers or ponds, eggs that will become larvae that in a short time will be very feared predators under water.
The migration of the Dragonfly
Something that is not known enough is the capacity of the dragonflies, especially the "Pantala flavescens", to travel thousands of kilometers in their different migrations despite their apparent fragility. Their intelligence to know how to take advantage of the winds and air currents, their orientation capacity and the gliding conditions provided by their hind wings allow them to travel extraordinary distances, making annual transoceanic flights such as Africa - Antilles, or those of India up to East Africa, which exceeds 14,000 km.
They are, without a doubt, the known insects that make a long migration, even more than the migration of Monarch butterflies that make the trip from the US to the Mexican state of Michoacán.
The question that arises before this is Why such a long trip? What are they running from? What are those millions of dragonflies looking for every year? The answer is very simple, they look for some suitable conditions for reproduction, especially when it comes to humidity.