The dragonfly is an insect easily identifiable because of its large size, its translucent wings and its large faceted eyes. A carnivorous predator, the dragonfly is a useful insect in the garden.
The dragonfly is an animal that enjoys a good reputation among gardeners, and rightly so! This animal is indeed a formidable predator both when it is a larva and as an adult. Insect of the order Odonata, the dragonfly can be either of the suborder Zygoptera or of the suborder Anisoptera. The difference between the two suborders lies mainly in the shape of the eyes and the posture of the wings at rest (folded above the body in the zygoptera, or horizontal in the anisoptera).
Whatever the sub-order, the dragonfly is easily recognized by its large size (up to 110 mm wingspan). In adulthood, it has an elongated body with two pairs of wings generally transparent. It always lives near water (river, pond, basin…) for two essential reasons.
The first is that it lays its eggs in an aquatic environment. The second is that water attracts insects in number and it is thus there that it finds the best hunting ground. She enjoys flies and mosquitoes, which she hunts in full flight using a particularly well-honed technique. Its large faceted eyes allow it to count on a very piercing sight. The dragonfly in full hunting can easily make of the hover before melting on its prey. Fertilization in dragonflies is indirect.
The male will inject his sperm into a special bag located on the female’s abdomen. The spermatozoa are thus stored without being fertilized. Fertilization is orchestrated by the female at the most opportune moment, generally during the month of May. Depending on the species, the female can lay up to 600 eggs. The eggs are deposited in the water where they will hatch releasing a prolarva. This one will know several stages of transformation.
The successive moults can last several months to several years depending on the species. During all its stay in water, the larva is a voracious predator. It eats in priority mud worms. The ultimate transformation is carried out out of water.
Unlike the butterfly, the larva does not go through a chrysalis stage. The passage between the stage of larva and that of the dragonfly corresponds to an ultimate moult (known as imaginal moult).