Superkingdom Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Superclass Hexapoda
Class Insecta
Subclass Pterygota
Series Paleoptera
Order Odonata

Common name(s): Dragonfly, damselfly

Description: Medium to large in size, winged, with fore and hind wings equal (Zygoptera) or hind wings wider than fore (Anisoptera). The head is mobile with large compound eyes separated (Zygoptera) or nearly in contact (Anisoptera). Mouthparts are mandibulate. Antennae is short, the thorax short, and the abdomen slender. Immature larval stages are aquatic, stout or narrow depending on the species, with extendible labial 'mask'; uses terminal gills.

Fun facts: This predatory order is relatively small, containing around 6500 species, with one third belonging to the suborder Zygoptera, damselflies, and the remaining two-thirds to the suborder Anisoptera, dragonflies. It is thought that Anisoptera is likely derived from within the Zygoptera, which means the latter is paraphyletic.

Adults can display territorial behaviour, especially during mating time. Mating always occurs around water, as the larval stage is aquatic.

For more information on dragonflies, please read iain's excellent write up in Dragonfly.

sourced, in part, by The Insects: An outline of entomology, second ed. Gullan, P.J. and P.S. Cranston. Blackwell Science, Great Britain, 2000.

O*don"a*ta (?), n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. , , a tooth.] Zool.

The division of insects that includes the dragon flies.


© Webster 1913.

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