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Ischnura heterosticta02.jpg
Male common bluetail damselfly (Ischnura heterosticta)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera
Selys, 1854

Damselflies (suborder Zygoptera) are insects in the order Odonata. Damselflies are similar to dragonflies, but the wings of most adult damselflies are closed along the body when at rest. Furthermore, the hindwing of the damselfly is essentially similar to the forewing, while the hindwing of the dragonfly broadens near the base. Damselflies are also usually smaller than dragonflies, are weaker fliers, and their eyes are separated.


General description[edit]

Damselflies rest their wings together, above their bodies, whereas dragonflies rest with their wings spread apart.



Damselflies undergo incomplete metamorphosis, with an aquatic nymph stage. The female lays the eggs in water, sometimes in underwater vegetation, or high in trees in bromeliads and other water-filled cavities. Nymphs are carnivorous, feeding on daphnia, mosquito larvae, and various other small aquatic organisms, using extendable jaws similar to those of the dragonfly nymph. The gills of damselfly nymphs are large and external, resembling three fins at the end of the abdomen. After moulting several times, the winged adult emerges and eats flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects. Some of the larger tropical species are known to feed on spiders, hovering near the web and plucking the spider from its nest.




Life cycle[edit]


External links[edit]