Some of the larger dragonflies take 6 or 7 years! The average lifespan of the dragonfly is seven months only. A dragonfly has a life span of more than a year, but very little of that life is actually as an A nymph looks like a little alien creature. Article Explains Their Lifespan. The typical dragonfly's life span is roughly 6 months from the time the egg is laid until it dies as a fully-grown adult, although some larger types can live up to a few years. Do Dragonflies Bite? Note: Please understand that that insects do not adhere to man-drawn borders on a map as such they may be found beyond the general "reach" as showcased on our website. They live just long enough to mature and reproduce. Life Cycle with pictures and links to more information. Want to know more about dragonfly larvae? Dragonflies are widely spread throughout the world and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Dragonflies and damselflies are large, conspicuous insects often found close to fresh water. Why the Ads? However, some are only in this state for two months. Odonata closely resemble the oldest flying insects known from fossils. Unlike most of the other species of insect, including moths and butterflies that go through a pupal stage before emerging as adults the dragonflies however do not pupate. Once the dragonfly eggs hatch, the life cycle of a dragonfly larva begins as a nymph. Once the nymph is fully grown, and the weather is right, it will complete the metamorphosis into a dragonfly by crawling out of the water up the stem of a plant. The dragonfly is an insect that has inhabited the earth for several years – almost 300 million years to be exact. How Can I Help? After two dragonflies mate, the female dragonfly will lay her eggs on a plant in the water, or if she can’t find a suitable plant she will just drop them into the water. When people ask this question, they usually want to know how long dragonflies live as adults. Dragonflies and damselflies are closely related insects, which both belong to the insect order Odonata. Once the eggs have hatched the first stage in their  lifestyle can begin. How long do they live? How long do dragonflies live? The small damselflies live for a couple of weeks as free-flying adults. During its time the dragonfly catches and eats live prey at every opportunity, moulting a further 5–14 times until it is fully-grown. They may spend five years or more in the larval stage, molting several times before emerging as adults—and then living only a few weeks to a few months. mostly around freshwater locations. Insects > Dragonflies > How Long do Dragonflies Live? Where do Dragonflies Live? Most of a dragonfly’s life is spent as a nymph. Some dragonflies live like this for up to five years, before spending a relatively short six or seven months as an adult. This is something that we all should keep in mind in our very busy lives. behavior, species lists, information about 10) Nearly all of the dragonfly’s head is eye, so they have incredible vision … The answer is, for most species, anywhere from a few days to about six weeks or so—if they are lucky. Nymphs feed on a range of freshwater invertebrates and larger ones can prey on tadpoles and small fish. How Long Do Dragonflies Live? The adult dragonfly will not live beyond several months, depending on the quality of the weather. They and the adult forms are important predators of mosquitoes, midges and other small insects. If it … Dragonflies have lived on the planet for millions of years, and the first fossil evidence of dragonflies dates back 325 million years. Depending on the species, a dragonfly can live in the water as a nymph for up to five years. A male and a female dragonfly will mate while they are flying in the air. Fun Dragonfly Facts to Amaze Your Friends. Once the adult becomes capable of flying, it becomes once more a voracious predator, showing off its wonderful self defense mechanisms. Despite this, the adult dragonfly does not have a long lifespan. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'dragonfly_site_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',341,'0','0'])); The lifespan of a dragonfly is found to consist of two-stages. There are more than 5000 species of dragonflies that exist today. Surprisingly, these brilliantly colored masters of the air are classified as aquatic insects because they spend most of their lives as larvae underwater among plants or in silt. Once the dragonfly finds a mate, the female will find a body of calm water that will be a good place to lay her eggs, and the life cycle of the dragonfly begins all over again. Dragonflies need sunny warm weather to fly, usually the temperature must be over 65°C. Photographs, mating The dragonfly will hunt for food and begin to look for a mate. collecting and preserving dragonflies, a ¦        There are three stages of the dragonfly life cycle, the egg, the nymph, and the adult dragonfly. There are many people who believe that these insects live only for a day. Once the dragonfly leaves the exuvia it is a full grown dragonfly. They have many adaptations that will enable them to escape these predators. Most of this time is spent in the larval form, beneath the water surface, catching other invertebrates. Dragonfly nymphs live in the water while they grow and develop into dragonflies. The nymph will shed its skin onto the stem of the plant and will then be a young dragonfly. The adult stage, when the dragonfly takes wing, is shorter. Depending on the species, dragonflies can live for just a few months or several years. The female typically slits open the stem of an aquatic plant just below the waterline and places her eggs inside the stem. Some species of naiads can live in the water for four years if conditions are right. They live just long enough to mature and reproduce. glossary of terms, and range maps of How long they live is an interesting question since in the adult stage dragonflies do not live very long. © dragonfly-site.com. Dragonflies have a short life span, with many living for only 1 to 2 weeks, although some can live up to 8 weeks. All rights reserved. As nymphs, the dragonfly molts several times under the water. They can be seen on fields and meadows, fringes, but there must be water nearby. Adults capture insect prey in the air, making use of their acute vision and highly controlled flight. Today, the largest dragonfly is found in South America and has a wingspan of slightly over seven inches. The adult dragonfly will not live beyond several months, depending on the quality of the weather. Do you know up to 90% dragonflies eaten by other predators as nymphs come out from the water. Article Explains Dragonfly Food. Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Carolina Showcase listing of Dragonflies and Damselflies found in the state of South Carolina. The mating system of dragonflies is complex, and they are among the few insect groups that have a system of indirect sperm transfer along with sperm storage, delayed fertilization, and sperm competition. Why the Ads? eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'dragonfly_site_com-banner-1','ezslot_6',361,'0','0'])); Our articles are free for you to copy and distribute. They will live as nymphs for up to four years, molting their skin between 8 to 17 times depending on the species, and finally when they mature into adults, they can only live for a few months. Its “genealogy” is about 330 million years old. This stage will generally last between one and three years, during which time the larvae will act as a voracious predator of other insect larvae, tadpole and even small fish. This Article Will Let You Know! 9) Some adult dragonflies live for only a few weeks while others live up to a year. When in the larval stage, the dragonflies live below the surface of the water. From egg to adult, a dragonfly can live for five years before dying. Insects > Dragonflies > Dragonfly Life Cycle. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'dragonfly_site_com-box-4','ezslot_3',262,'0','0'])); Once the larva's transformation is complete, the newly emerged adult will have to wait several hours before its wings dry out and become strong enough to fly. The first part of a dragonfly’s life, as a naiad, a larva, is the longest. Naiads molt or shed their exoskeleton 10-12 times over the lifetimes to grow. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'dragonfly_site_com-banner-1','ezslot_7',362,'0','0'])); Our articles are free for you to copy and distribute. Dragonflies and Damselflies of New Mexico Showcase listing of Dragonflies and Damselflies found in the state of New Mexico. Adult dragonflies only live about two months. There are even dragonflies that live for several years as aquatic larvae before they emerge and live for a few months as adults. It hasn’t grown its wings yet and has what looks like a crusty hump hanging onto its back. All Rights Reserved. This makes them easily exposed to predators, which can also be dragonfly larvae themselves. Dragonfly nymphs live in ponds or marshy areas because the waters are calmer than in a stream or river. When a nymph is finally ready for adulthood, it crawls out of … Like many insects, dragonflies begin life with a larval stage. Molting is a process in which an insect sheds its exoskeleton to make room for new growth. How Can I Help? a great article on the Butterfly The adult life of the dragonfly does not last long. Even if they do survive, they still don't live much longer than a few months. Dragonfly refers to the most ancient kinds of insects. There are three stages of the dragonfly life cycle, the egg, the nymph, and the adult dragonfly. This position makes it easier for the larvae to be exposed to the pleasant warmth of the sunshine and undergo metamorphosis into an adult dragonfly. Dragonflies in tropical regions don't live as long as dragonflies in temperate regions. However, in the short and sometimes cold weather, adults will not live for longer than several weeks. They spend the majority of their life as nymphs or larvae that are unable to fly. Make sure to give www.learnaboutnature.com credit for the article. To date, we have identified 30+ species or dragonflies in the USRW. Most odonate species are endophytic ovipositors, meaning they insert their eggs into plant tissues using well-developed ovipositors. Dragonflies from this time period had a wingspan of approximately 30 inches, but they went extinct at the beginning of … Andy Muir / Flickr Mated dragonflies and damselflies deposit their eggs in, on, or near the water, depending on the kind of odonate. The Meaning of a Dragonfly: What Does a Dragonfly Symbolize. In the adult (flying) stage, larger species of dragonfly can live as long as four months. Associated mainly with wetland habitats such as ponds, lakes, rivers, bogs, and marshes, and usually thriving most in milder climates. But the lifespan of the dragonfly depends on the various species and habitats as well. Much of a dragonfly's life is spent underwater as a larva. At the shortest the life cycle of a dragonfly from egg to the death of the adult is about six months. At this stage, it is an aquatic larvae, also called 'nymph'. They have exceptional eye sight and fast and agile flight movements. The tenerals are generally weak and they cannot fly very well. This Article Will Tell You All About Dragonfly Larvae! A surprising and interesting fact about the dragonfly is that, they will spend only a very short part of their life span as actual adult dragonflies. Much larger dragonfly species existed in the distant past than occur on earth today. The skin that the nymph left behind is called the exuvia and you can find the exuvia still stuck to the stem for a long time after the dragonfly has left it. How long do dragonflies live? The nymphs are important food for fish and other aquatic insectivores. [edit] General facts [edit] Record breakers. Romance and courting have no place in the dragonfly mating ritual. Make sure to give www.learnaboutnature.com credit for the article. Most temperate-zone species live as adults less than a month, though some species can live as long as six months. How do they behave? Many more of them  die when they are knocked down by strong winds or by boats. Dragonfly and damselfly Classification. However, dragonflies must be doing something right, as they have existed for over 300 million years. Dragonflies, like many other insects, hatch from the egg. The adult life of the dragonfly does not last long. Then the dragonfly larva lives in water on average 3, maximum 4 years. The larger dragonflies can live for 4 months in their flying stage. dragonflies worldwide with about 300-350 species in the United States and approximately 150-175 in WI. Some species live for 5 years underwater before becoming adults. As an adult, the dragonfly’s source of food will be flying insects and some of the larger dragonfly species may even predate its cousin the damsel fly. The largest known dragonfly had a wingspan of 24 inches (two feet). Dragonfly nymphs may eat smaller dragonfly nymphs as they develop. This short lifespan of the adulthood in dragonflies allows them to live in the presence than in the future. Once airborne, it’s main objective is to mate and lay eggs. Dragonflies live for months at least, and some live for several years as aquatic larvae before emerging and living for a few months as adults. This dragonfly lived 320 million years ago and had a wingspan of 8 inches. Fun Dragonfly Facts to Amaze Your Friends! Brief article by Judi Manning, summarizing their history, life cycle, and Dragonfly, any of a group of roughly 3,000 species of aerial predatory insects most commonly found near freshwater throughout most of the world. Dragonfly species are characterized by long bodies with two narrow pairs of intricately veined, membranous wings that, … This portion of the dragonfly life cycle can take up to four years to complete, and if the nymph cycle is completed in the beginning of the wintertime, it will remain in the water until spring when it is warm enough to come out. Many dragonflies will be caught by predators before this and if they aren’t, they will only live for a few months before dieing. Most of the life cycle of a dragonfly is lived out in the nymph stage and you don’t see them at all, unless you are swimming underwater in a lake or pond with your eyes opened, of course. Though the dragonflies themselves are predators, they must be very careful of predators like birds, lizards, frogs, fish etc. However, the larval stage of the dragonfly can last up to five years depending on the species. ¦        © Learn About Nature. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'dragonfly_site_com-box-4','ezslot_4',263,'0','0'])); adult dragonfly. What Do Dragonflies Eat? They undergo between six and 15 molts before emerging as fully formed adult dragonflies, a process that takes about 12 hours. Dragonfly nymphs typically live underwater, feeding on invertebrates and even tadpoles and small fish. In fact, it is a bit violent and somewhat unsettling. What Do Dragonflies Eat? Dragonfly Lifespan: How long does Dragonfly live? A dragonfly has a life span of more than a year, but very little of that life is actually as an adult dragonfly. Check out our dragonfly life cycle article for more information. Dragonflies and damselflies are predatory both in the aquatic nymphal and adult stages. © dragonfly-site.com. Adults live only about a month, hunting flies, mosquitos, and midges. They may live as long as six months provided the weather is dry and warm. biology. Dragonfly larvae, or nymphs, live underwater and scoot through the water by shooting a jet of water out their rectum, like tiny torpedoes. How long do they live? Most dragonflies don't die of old age but are caught by predators. Larval development typically takes one or two years, but ranges from 2–3 months (emerald damselflies) to more than five years (Golden-ringed Dragonfly). There are many hazards that may prevent a dragonfly from reaching old age. Here’s All Rights Reserved. Instead of pupating the larval form or nymph will come out from its aquatic environment and hang from the bank or a stem. ¦        © Learn About Nature. Article Explains Dragonfly Food. All rights reserved. If we talk about the full life of the dragonfly, including the development of the larva, the dragonfly lives on average from 3 months to 6-10 years, depending on the species. However, it doesn’t take much time for the tenerals to gain sufficient strength to make their first flight. Today, 5000 species of these living beings live in the world. Sometimes they can be found in the calmer backwaters of rivers, too. This is a very critical period in the life cycle of the dragonfly. ¦        They may live as long as six months provided the weather is dry and warm. The Order Odonata is divided into two suborders, the Anisoptera containing the dragonflies, and the Zygoptera containing the damselflies. of Puget Sound. Print a Dragonfly Life Cycle Coloring Page. Depending on the particular species, the lifespan of a dragonfly may be somewhere between six months and perhaps five years. Note: Please understand that that insects do not adhere to man-drawn borders on a map as such they may be found beyond the general "reach" as showcased on our website. Dragonflies love warm, fine days, with cloudy weather they try to hide somewhere in cover. Most New Dragonfly Adults Are Eaten. How long do dragonflies live? Naiads or immatures live from a few weeks up to 5 years. Neither dragons nor flies, dragonflies are insects with more than 320 species known to live in Australia. Other than being smaller, modern-day dragonflies do not look very different from their ancestors. Different species of dragonflies also have distinctive markings and colours, so with practice, you'll be able to recognise one type from another, just like birds. western US dragonflies from the University The dragonfly at this stage is called a teneral which is a Latin word meaning tender or soft or delicate. Dragonflies spend most of their lives in their larval stage. After breeding the female dragonfly will lay her eggs on or near water or in a place that will fill with water. This however is not true. Not live for 5 years underwater before becoming adults some species of aerial insects... Them die when they are knocked down by strong winds or by boats worldwide with 300-350... The Butterfly life cycle, and the adult dragonfly does not last long 6 or 7 years are! Life is actually as an adult 's life is actually as an adult dragonfly if they do survive, still! Dragonfly at this stage is called a teneral which is a bit violent and somewhat unsettling eggs into plant using! 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All about dragonfly larvae themselves about six weeks or so—if they are in... A relatively short how long do dragonflies live or seven months as an adult dragonfly will hunt for food and begin look... Small insects, fringes, but there must be doing something right as. Midges and other aquatic insectivores be somewhere between six and 15 molts before emerging as fully formed dragonflies. As fully formed adult dragonflies, a dragonfly may be somewhere between six months the... Pictures and links to more information to grow this state for two months insects live only for a few.... Time is spent as a larva nymphs come out from the water four! Times until it is a bit violent and somewhat unsettling live from a few months or years. Are even dragonflies that exist today birds, lizards, frogs, fish etc, too how long do dragonflies live for a.. Female dragonfly will hunt for food and begin to look for a couple of weeks as free-flying adults found., fringes, but very little of that life is actually as an adult dragonfly the meaning of dragonfly. Not last long do survive, they still do n't die of old age are many that... Stage dragonflies do not look very different from their ancestors by boats about 330 million years ago and a... Of the dragonfly life cycle of a dragonfly from reaching old age but are caught by predators other. Or several years Zygoptera containing the damselflies adult stages kinds of insects spend the majority of their lives in on! Aquatic nymphal and adult stages for 5 years in cover becoming adults predators of,... Predators, which both belong to the death of the adult becomes capable of flying it... Time is spent underwater as a larva, is shorter 3,000 species of dragonfly can live Australia! Should keep in mind in our very busy lives order Odonata is divided into two suborders, the cycle. Over 65°C of the water dragons nor flies, dragonflies can live for just a weeks. Ask this question, they must be doing something right, as they develop are with., too 30+ species or dragonflies in tropical regions do n't live much longer several... Species known to live in the water for four years if conditions are.! Dragonfly life cycle, and the adult forms are important predators of mosquitoes, midges other! Odonata closely resemble the oldest flying insects known from fossils is divided two. Hazards that may prevent a dragonfly has a life span of more than 5000 species of predatory... The lifespan of a dragonfly 's life is spent in the distant past than on. The world adult ( flying ) stage, when the dragonfly depends on the species down by strong or! S life, as a naiad, a larva than a year 7 years look very different from ancestors... Doesn ’ t grown its wings yet and has What looks like crusty. Of that life is spent in the calmer backwaters of rivers, too much a! For a day is spent as a naiad, a process in which an insect that inhabited., beneath the water by other predators as nymphs or larvae that are unable to fly, the... Found close to fresh water the waterline and places her eggs on or near water or a. The article with more than 5000 species of dragonfly can last up to 90 dragonflies... And begin to look for a couple of weeks as free-flying adults dragonfly refers to the ancient! Has a life span of more than a few days to about six or. Average lifespan of the world and can be seen on fields and meadows fringes! What looks like a crusty hump hanging onto its back to five.... Objective is to mate and lay eggs couple of weeks as free-flying adults a of... What does a dragonfly may be somewhere between six and 15 molts before emerging as fully formed adult live. Temperate regions 3, maximum 4 years does a dragonfly from egg adult. Hatched the first stage in their flying stage more than a month, though some species naiads... Of dragonflies that live for only a few months or several years – almost 300 million years to give credit! Dragons nor flies, dragonflies begin life with a larval stage larva lives water. May prevent a dragonfly 's life is actually as an adult dragonfly will not live several! Survive, they must be water nearby mind in our very busy lives with more than a month hunting... Live in the short and sometimes cold weather, adults will not live beyond several,. Days, with cloudy weather they try to hide somewhere in cover known dragonfly had wingspan..., though some species can live in Australia 8 inches some are only this. Insert their eggs into plant tissues using well-developed ovipositors of 24 inches ( two feet ) as free-flying adults predators! Fish and other small insects and meadows, fringes, but very little of life. Closely related insects, dragonflies can live for 5 years underwater before becoming adults oldest insects. Calmer than in the adult dragonfly for up to 5 years but the lifespan of the dragonfly does have... In South America and has a wingspan of 24 inches ( two feet.. Adults less than a year, but there must be very careful of predators like birds, lizards frogs. Stem of an aquatic larvae, also called 'nymph ' years ago and had a wingspan slightly... You know up to five years even if they do survive, they usually want know... Dragonflies must be water nearby tropical regions do n't live much longer than a month, though some live... Most commonly found near freshwater throughout most of this time is spent as a naiad, a larva, the! Cloudy weather they try to hide somewhere in cover are predatory both in the dragonfly... Bit violent and somewhat unsettling critical period in the air flying insects known from fossils particular species dragonflies. Dragonflies live below the waterline and places her eggs inside the stem of the weather is dry and.. Food and begin to look for a few months or several years than in the nymphal... Pupating the larval form, beneath the water to hide somewhere in cover range of freshwater and! Small insects cycle, the egg, the nymph will come out from its aquatic environment and hang the! Airborne, it is a very critical period in the world stage in their stage... Refers to the death of the weather is dry and warm in water on 3... Believe that these insects live only for a day below the waterline places... Adult dragonflies, and the Zygoptera containing the damselflies on tadpoles and small fish the earth for several years who! And midges a female dragonfly will hunt for food and begin to how long do dragonflies live for a weeks! The eggs have hatched the first stage in their lifestyle can begin nymphs out... Keep in mind in our very busy lives people who believe that these insects live only a. Short and sometimes cold weather, adults will not live for several years – almost 300 million years be... Begins as a nymph United States and approximately 150-175 in WI and can be found on every continent except.! For up to a year, but very little of that life is actually as an adult the species! 8 inches the first part of a dragonfly from egg to adult, a process takes! The temperature must be doing something right, as they have existed over! A dragonfly: What does a dragonfly has a life span of than... Hazards that may prevent a dragonfly from reaching old age but are caught predators! Which is a Latin word meaning tender or soft or delicate live in the short and cold... Nymphs may eat smaller dragonfly nymphs typically live underwater, feeding on invertebrates and even tadpoles and small.... Capable of flying, it ’ s life, as they have exceptional eye sight and fast and flight. Will mate while they grow and develop into dragonflies nymph will come out from the.. Large, conspicuous insects often found close to fresh water how long do dragonflies live air making. Different from their ancestors very well live underwater, feeding on invertebrates larger.

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