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Flame Skimmer Dragonfly

The Flame Skimmer Dragonfly is a dragonfly that is common to much of the United States. It is easily identified by it's red-orange color and large body size, which can grow to 3 inches in length.

Natural History

After hatching from an egg, dragonflies begin their life in an larval stage. Dragonfly larva are aquatic and breath through gills. In this stage their chief predators are fish and frogs while their main source of food is fish-spawn, tadpoles and the larvae of smaller insects. The larval stage can vary in duration from about three months to four or more years.

A Dragonfly spends the majority of its live in the larval stage (1 to 2 years). An adult Dragonfly typically only lives a few months.

When the larva has completed its growth and development it will climb up the stem of a reed or other plant, until it is well out of the water, and affixes itself firmly by means of its claws. The insects then breaks out of its larval casing and the adult insect emerges. Adults use their new found wings to disperse from their place of birth and in a few weeks reach reproductive maturity. Females lay eggs, usually in a secluded location, along a bank or in thick stream or lake side vegetation.

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