How fast can a Dragonfly Fly?

Do you know how fast can a dragonfly fly ? It is very difficult to estimate the speed of insects in flight but it is thought that some dragonflies can reach 30 to 60 miles an hour. Dragonflies are easily the most skilled fliers of the insects.

How fast can a dragonfly fly

You may have seen them on a summer’s evening along the river bank, flitting and darting in vivid flashes of beautiful iridescent color.

You can see from their shape that they are well adapted for strong flight and acrobatic man oeuvres to catch other flying insects.

They are equipped with two pairs of powerful wings. The very elongated body streamlines the dragonfly and helps to stabilize it in flight.

How fast can a dragonfly fly
How fast can a dragonfly fly

As you might expect, a predatory insect that weaves and dives after its prey in the air must have good eyesight. The dragonfly’s head is dominated by an enormous pair of compound eyes. The dragonfly is another insect that develops by incomplete metamorphosis.

This is to say that, on hatching, the larva resembles its parent with only slight modification so that it can lead a life in a different environment.

The female dragonfly lays her eggs in water. The larvae, or nymphs, lead an underwater life for two years before they finally emerge to change into adults.

How fast can a dragonfly fly
The aquatic dragonfly nymph extending its mask to seize a small tadpole. After several months the nymph is fully grown and crawls p a plant stem above the surface. The adult emerges from the final moult. When its wings have expanded (bottom) and hardened it fly’s off to begin the second stage of its life.

The nymph is as much a greedy predator as its flying parent although not so active. It creeps stealthily among aquatic vegetation and catches the fry of fishes, tadpoles and other insects. It seizes its prey using an especially extendable jaw called a mask.

At rest this is folded up under the head and partly covers the face. Once a young fish swims within range the mask is flashed out and a pair of claws closes on to the prey to secure it.

Which Insects build Enormous Mounds?

These enormous mounds in mound in northern Australia house a termite colony. It is made of chewed-up vegetable pulp mixed with earth and cemented together to form a hard protective home for the termites.

Inside they live within a maze of air-conditioned tunnels for they are able to regulate the temperature and humidity inside the mound. Termites are social insects.

Which insects build enormous mounds

This means that within the colony there are various types of termite, each specialized to do a particular job in the running of the group.

All the eggs are laid by just one female-the queen-after being fertilized by a single male-the king. Some of the eggs hatch into worker termites which gather the food and maintain the nest structure. Others develop into soldier termites and protect the colony intruders.

Which insects build enormous mounds 3
The body of the queen termite becomes enormously enlarged so that her egg-laying capacity is increased.

Termites come from various parts of Africa, Asia and Australia and build mounds of varying shapes and sizes. They feed on moist vegetable matter, in particular, wood.

They are not able to digest the cellulose of plant cell walls themselves, however, within their gut live bacteria and protozoa which carry out this job for them.

How does a termite colony start?

When conditions are right special fertile winged terminates hatch within the mound. They suddenly leave the rest in a dense swarm and disperse.

After travelling a short way they drop to the ground and break off their wings which they no longer need. A male and a female pair p, choose a suitable home, perhaps in an old rotten log, mate, and produce young.

How does a termite colony start

The offspring are the pioneer workers and soldiers of the new colony. As more and more eggs are laid and hatched, and a nest built, the colony gradually becomes established.

The original pair-the king and queen-remains within the nest for years and years, simply producing a continuing supply of new termites.

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