Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dragons vs. Damsels

All photos by Marty Horowitz.

Dragonflies and damselflies are insects (3 body parts, 6 jointed legs, adults have wings); and both undergo 'incomplete' metamorphosis (i.e., hatch from egg looking like miniature, wingless adults. Eat, grow, shed; final shed reveals wings (which, in my opinion, is an amazing metamorphosis and shouldn't be called 'incomplete.' If I were queen...)

Flame Skimmer Dragonfly

You can usually tell dragonflies and damselflies adults apart by looking at their wings when perched. Dragonflies hold their wings perpendicular to their bodies; damselflies hold theirs parallel. If you get the chance, you can also tell by comparing abdomen size (that's the 'tail' end). Dragonflies generally have a thicker abdomen.

Desert Firetail Damselfly

American Rubyspot Damselfly

Whether dragon or damsel, though, Arizona Dragonfly is a great site with fantastic photos of these flyers.

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