By Pieter van Dokkum
The booklet starts on a moonlit summer time evening, while an alien-looking larva crawls out of the water and transforms right into a absolutely 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 new release dies because the subsequent prepares to go away the water and start its personal winged trip. each one degree is documented via van Dokkum’s inquisitive lens and observed by means of info on quite a few species of dragonflies and damselflies, their metamorphosis, and their ecological value as insect predators.
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Extra info for Dragonflies: Magnificent Creatures of Water, Air, and Land
Nevertheless, they often feature colorful spots and bands, which can be used to identify species. The veins in the wings can be colored, too. This photo shows a detail of the wing of a Calico Pennant, covered in dew. 42 a n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n Side view. Dragonfly wings are not flat but have a complex corrugated structure with ridges and valleys. This improves the stiffness of the wings and possibly also provides extra lift during flight. a n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n 43 44 a n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n Not for walking.
The shape of the tip of the abdomen is often very different in males and females, as it is used for different purposes in the reproduction process. Among other things, males use the tip for clasping females, and females use it for laying eggs. This difference in shape is particularly clear in the appropriately named Clamp-tipped Emerald dragonfly; the male is on the left and the female is on the right. a n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n 49 three â•… Dew-clad Dragons T he photographs in this and the following chapters show dragonflies as they go about their daily activities.
A n e x c e l l e n t d e s i g n 49 three â•… Dew-clad Dragons T he photographs in this and the following chapters show dragonflies as they go about their daily activities. Because this is not a field guide, no attempt is made to cover all 5,500 dragonfly and damselfly species, or even the 450 species that occur in the United States. Instead, the photos aim to convey the intimate and subtle magic of dragonflies, and their brilliant colors, delicate wings, and spectacular flight. They offer a glimpse into a world of air and water and movement, occasionally interrupted by a short rest on a thin reed swaying in the breeze.