When the dragonflies see, seeing is not what they do exactly, but rather they feel. They feel the movement at a much wider angle than any human could even imagine, since their eyes are ball-like and they see a full range of 360 degrees. Each ommatidia is an eye in itself, capable of seeing anything right in front of it. This helps the dragonfly feel the movement anywhere around it.On the other hand, the dragonfly has a flattened surface just in front of its eyes, with a concentration of eye cells that come directly to the front. This helps her see the little mosquito that flies, before it becomes food. Other predators of the arthropod family, such as praying mantis and bees, have similar flattened fronts to help them see better as they fly.
The body of the dragonfly is supported by two pairs of very powerful wings that help it to float in the lightest breeze, but it can beat them quickly and strongly enough to fly even with a strong wind against it. Although these wings are transparent and appear to be quite fragile, they are actually much stronger than they might at first appear.The structure of the wings and the fact that they do not articulate like those of the butterflies and that can work independently, makes the dragonfly fly in all directions, up, down, left, right, forward and even backwards. As you can see, the hummingbird is not the only one that can go backwards.
Image of my father authorship with a Sony Cyber Shot.
The surfaces of dragonfly wings are not smooth. They have small pockets like crests that capture the slightest gust of wind to take flight. Although this rough surface poses a certain degree of aerodynamic drag, the dragonfly can move fast enough, and most importantly, have enough control in flight to make sure that if it can see its food, it can reach it. There are not many insects that escape their six legs once the persecution begins. To make it as simple as possible, the legs are positioned in such a way that they form a bag. In this way the prisoners are trapped with very little chance of escape.As the dragonfly flies a lot, it is necessary to both warm up and cool down, so it assumes the famous Obelisk pose. The muscles that flap their wings need to be hot at all times. In this way, they sunbathe as much as possible if they need to warm up and, on the contrary, if they need a little rest from the heat, they position their bodies in such a way that they get little or no direct contact with the sun’s rays.
Acrobats of the air:
They can reach a speed of about 72 kilometers per hour, this being a speed similar to the flutter of a hummingbird. However, the most surprising thing about this is that they achieve it with an amazing ease. Unlike other insects such as flies and mosquitoes; which reach much lower speeds, and need to perform 1000 and 600 beatings of wings per minute. Dragonflies only need about 30 beats per minute! And all without losing the elegance that characterizes them.And not only are they capable of achieving great speeds in flight. They are also capable of traveling great distances! Many species are migrating and usually group in large groups. However, among all of them, Pantala flavescens stands out, which is capable of transoceanic flights of more than 17,000 km.
In Japan there is a great appreciation for dragonflies, being as dear as butterflies and small birds. In addition, it is very common to find popular groups that organize excursions to know and study them in their environment. But your appreciation, it’s nothing new. In fact, in some of the first armors of samurai, you can see taxa of dragonflies; for they symbolized power, agility, and above all, victory.In China they are associated with prosperity, harmony and good luck. Among the Native Americans are a symbol of happiness, speed and purity, since according to them they feed directly from the wind itself.
Thank you for reading 🙂