Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Anisoptera)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Dragonflies (Suborder Epiprocta)

General: Dragonflies (Suborder Anisoptera) are small, flying creatures often seen zooming and hovering around streams and pools of water. What we see as dragonflies, however, are the generally short-lived, adult, breeding life stage of the organism. The more numerous and longer lived life stage is the aquatic larvae, which are voracious predators on other small water bugs and things like mosquito larvae. When the time is right, a dragonfly larva will climb out of the water, emerge from its exoskeleton, fly away to feed and mate, and leave behind its shed (exuvia).

Dragonfly larvae are harmless to humans, but they can provide a bit of a bite.

Taxonomy: Order Odonata, Suborder Anisoptera.

Dragonflies (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly adults "tandem ovipositing." After mating, pairs may stay together while the female lays eggs in water or in rotting vegetation.
Dragonflies (Suborder Anisoptera) In some species, female dragonflies laying eggs alone. Note that this female is green. While males often are brightly colored blues or reds, females of the same species usually are dull green or brown.
Dragonflies (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly nymph (short, wide species).
Dragonflies (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly nymph (long, narrow species), dorsal and ventral views.
Dragonflies (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly nymph. Notice the angled grasping mouthparts that the nymph uses to reach out and grab prey items.
Dragonflies (Suborder Epiprocta) The mouthparts of nymphal dragonflies are extendable and have teeth at the end, which they use to reach out and grab tasty little things.
Dragonflies (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly nymph grasping mouthparts showing the sharp, pointed teeth.
Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta)
Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta)
Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta)
Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta)
Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta) Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta)
Dragonfly Larvae (Suborder Epiprocta) more to come ...
Dragonfly Larvae
Shed exoskeleton
Dragonfly Larvae
Shed exoskeleton
Dragonfly Larvae
Shed exoskeleton
Dragonfly Larvae
Shed exoskeleton

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170101

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