WESTERN ISLES DRAGONFLIES
There are 8 dragonflies that are seen in The Western Isles ( I shall endeavour to see and record them)
These 8 species are as follows:-
Large Red Damselfly,Four Spotted Chaser,Common Blue Damselfly,Blue-tailed Damselfly,Common Hawker,Common Darter,Black Darter and The Highland Darter (a species that isn't recognised by all authorities - some of whom see it as a form of the common darter.
The Golden-ringed Dragonfly and the Emerald Damselfly have also recently but very rarely been said to have been spotted
DRAGONFLIES - INTERESTING FACTS AND MYTHS ABOUT A DRAGONFLY AND A DAMSELFLY
No wings when born
A dragonfly doesn't have wings when it is born - they are larvae when born and have a part metamorphosis which is when the wings are grown
No relation to the Fly
Dragonflies aren't related in any way to the fly - despite their name - they are part of the Odonata order of insects.
Dragonflies Prey on Creatures
Dragonflies are insects that throughout all of their life prey on other creatures - as larvae they prey on mosquito and tiny fish - and as adult dragonflies they eat other insects that fly. They catch their prey in flight.
The largest dragonfly ever - a fossil that dates back 300 million years - was seen to have 3ft wingspan - this would have been the largest flying insect in the world
Lifespan from six months to several years
There are many dragonfly species - so lifespan varies from six months to a few years
Nymph Stage of Life - Sheds Skin
The time the dragonfly spends actually in water is the longest time span of its life - this is when it is called a nymph. During this stage of its life it sheds its skin several times - all this before finally crawling onto the land to break finally out of its skin as a dragonfly
Adult Dragonfly - Short Lifespan
The adult dragonfly really has a short lifespan - just long enough to mature and mate
Wings Beating Fast - Fly Forward - Backward etc -
Dragonflies have two sets of wings and therefore there is no necessity to beat the wings simultaneously. Their front wings can be going up - whilst the rear ones are going down. The wings flap at 30 times a second and they can reach a speed of 100km/h. They are able to fly forwards as well as backwards or up or down as they have really powerful flight muscles and the wings are incredibly strong.
The Japanese think the dragonfly means good things - whilst China think the opposite
In Japan, the dragonfly stands for success, happiness and victory - however in China the people think the dragonfly symbolises instability and feebleness.
Dragonflies eyes are structured such that they have incredible eyesight. Their compound eyes have up to 30,000 facets or lenses, each of which is a separate
light-sensing organ or ommatidium, arranged to give nearly a 360°Field of vision. The dragonfly can detect even a slight movement. They can see color as well as ultraviolet & polarised light - meaning that they are able to see reflections in the water.
They have large optic brain lobes and 80% of their mental processes are devoted to vision and they can detect colour, ultraviolet light and polarization. With such brilliant eyesight dragonflies can approach their prey from behind and below.
How you can tell whether the insect is a Dragonfly or a Damselfly
Dragonflies Don't Bite Or Sting
The large of the two are Dragonflies (Anisoptera). These really are powerful fliers. The head is sphere like
and consists almost entirely of the huge pair of eyes. The front and rear wings are different shaped and are usually held open whilst the dragonfly is resting.
The much smaller and slimmer and delicate are the Damselflies (Zygoptera) - who have weak flutter for a flight. The damselflies have a rectangular shaped head is rectangular and their large eyes are either side of the the nose of the dragonfly.. The eyes are separated unlike The front and back wings are the same shape and are normally held closed along the abdomen when the damselfly is at rest.
Unless you handle them dragonflies don't bite or sting
Dragonfly lays 100,000 eggs
A dragonfly lays sometimes as many 100,000 eggs.
Territory and the male dragonfly
The male dragonflies stake claim to a territory and chase off other males