Monday, August 8, 2016

Adults have wings, part 47

One fact about insects that you should know is this: adults have wings. (I'll repeat this many more times, never fear!) Today's examples are dragonflies. Dragonflies undergo "incomplete" (or 3-stage) metamorphosis: egg > nymph> adult. (In other words, dragonflies don't pupate like butterflies.)

Dragonflies hatch from eggs looking (mostly) like dragonflies, except that they're smaller and, of course, they don't have wings. The nymphs eat, grow, shed, repeat, until they climb out of their exoskeleton one last time and spread their wings. Here's a good kid-friendly overview.

Among dragonflies, males are more colorful than females.

All photos by Marty Horowitz 8/3/2016

Variegated Meadowhawk dragonfly, male. Click on the link for more great photos.

Variegated Meadowhawk dragonfly, female

Living things (yes, even plants) are considered mature/adults when they can reproduce. These dragonflies are doing what adults do.

Variegated Meadowhawk dragonflies, mating pair

Thanks, Marty, for these great photos.

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