By Pieter van Dokkum
The e-book starts on a moonlit summer season evening, while an alien-looking larva crawls out of the water and transforms right into a totally shaped dragonfly. within the following chapters we witness dew-covered dragonflies gleaming within the morning solar, then a couple of mating dragonflies relocating in the course of the air in a twelve-legged, eight-winged dance. within the ultimate bankruptcy, one iteration dies because the subsequent prepares to go away the water and start its personal winged trip. each one level is documented via van Dokkum’s inquisitive lens and followed by means of details on a variety of species of dragonflies and damselflies, their metamorphosis, and their ecological significance as insect predators.
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Additional info for Dragonflies: Magnificent Creatures of Water, Air, and Land
D e w - c l a d d r a g o n s 5 1 Dew-covered dragonfly. On cold mornings in late summer insects can easily be approached and photographed because they are sluggish and often covered in dew. 52 d e w - c l a d d r a g o n s Sparkling. The morning sun reflects off the dew drops on the wings of this female Saffron-winged Meadowhawk. d e w - c l a d d r a g o n s 53 Ruby Meadowhawk (m) 5 4 d e w - c l a d d r a g o n s Calico Pennant (f ) d e w - c l a d d r a g o n s 55Â� Front and back. Two views of the same Calico Pennant, just before it shook off the dew drops on its wings.
Their sole purpose is to grab things: reeds to rest on, prey, rivals, and mates. Some species, such as the Flame Skimmer above, fold their front legs when perching. Unusual for insects, dragonflies rarely walk. a n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n 45 Segmented abdomen. The abdomen consists of segments that can move with respect to one another, enabling dragonflies to bend their bodies. Blue Dasher (m) 46 a n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n Thermoregulation. Dragonflies regulate their body temperature by angling their bodies to maximize or minimize the area exposed to the sun.
The subtle colors of this immature Black Meadowhawk are caused by sunlight reflecting off the still not quite transparent wings. 40 a n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n Attachment of wings. Each of the four wings has a separate connection to the thorax, enabling dragonflies to move them independently from one another. Powerful muscles are attached to each wing base. These muscles can adjust the frequency and power of each stroke and also the angle of the wing. a n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n 41Â� Wing structure and color.