Nature Detective: Dragonfly Nymph

Dragonfly Nymph   

bulletLarge, bulbous eyes
bulletThick, round or oval bodies that may end in three pointed extensions
bulletSix long, segmented legs
bulletUnique, scoop-like lower jaw
bulletGills are internal and not visible
Ecological Role
bulletDragonfly nymphs are prominent predators of other aquatic macroinvertebrates.  They are also known to prey on small fish and amphibians.
Interesting Facts
bulletDragonfly nymphs have a unique lower lip that they project to hook their prey.
bulletThe dragonfly nymph expands and contracts its abdomen to move water over its gills.  It can squeeze the water out rapidly for a short burst of underwater jet propulsion.
bulletThe six legs are all located near the head and are seldom used for walking, but are more useful in catching prey and perching on vegetation to rest or lay eggs.

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™, which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the third guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities™.


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