Meet the metamorphosis of the dragonfly
Regardless of whether its life cycle is less than six months, or if on the contrary it exceeds five years, the metamorphosis of the dragonfly is characterized by its morphological and physiological complexity.
The anisoptera belong to one of the two suborders that make up the order Odonata em>, which includes more than 5,000 species of insects. They are commonly known as dragonflies or damselflies , although this term lacks taxonomic rigor because it is also used to name all the odonata.
The three stages of the dragonfly's metamorphosis
As in any other species, the reproductive process begins with copulation; however, dragonflies stand out for being able to mate in full flight . Once finished, the female usually deposits the eggs among the vegetation, in areas close to some calm water course. In some cases, the egg laying can reach 500 eggs.
After hatching, the nymph stage begins, the longest of all the dragonfly's metamorphosis and it exceeds even the four years. In this stage the nymphs grow and develop in the aquatic environment capturing through their powerful small invertebrate jaws of the medium.
Depending on the species, these animals will undergo different nymphal mutations by means of which they will develop wings and little by little the 'humpback' aspect of this first stage will disappear. In addition, they will stop using the gill system so that after the first exposure to the air are able to breathe.
Thus, once acquired an elongated abdomen with folded wings and prominent eyes, and climatic conditions are reached primaverales, the dragonfly will start its adult phase out of the water: of a skin known as exuvia .
During the first days of this new stage , the dragonfly adapts itself to the environment, strengthening its legs and wings, and avoiding the attacks of the numerous predators with which it barely counted as a nymph.
It should be noted that the locomotor system changes completely from nymph to dragonfly , because while in the juvenile stage they moved quickly through an expulsion of water through the anus, they are now able to execute precise flights of up to six different directions.
Although there are exceptional cases of longer-lived dragonflies, in most species the adult phase is usually reduced to a few months . For this reason, after accommodation to the terrestrial environment, its maximum objective is to find a companion with which to reproduce, in order to start again the whole biological cycle described.
Global distribution of dragonflies
At present, some 5,700 species of dragonflies have been discovered worldwide and, although their presence is greater in the tropics, as is the case of Mexico that has some 360 species, more than 70 have been identified in the Iberian Peninsula. The national diversity of anisoptera is mainly due to climatic conditions and the presence of sweet and temperate aquatic environmental numbers.
Even though the Most dragonflies usually spend most of their lives around the environment. aquatic with dense fluvial vegetation, others stand out for their long migrations, as is the case of the species belonging to the genera Libellula , Sympetrum and Pantala .