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Dragonflies space a team of insects scientists speak to the Odonata. Like all insects they have actually a difficult exoskeleton, made of chitin (pronounced: kite-in) and also proteins. They have six segmented legs and also their body are separated into three main parts: head, thorax and also abdomen.
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The easily movable head has two large compound eyes and three straightforward eyes, dubbed ocelli. The antennae are small, when the jaws are large with several sharp teeth. “Odonata” is Greek because that “toothed ones”.

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Watch a dragonfly"s jaws in action. (Video = 0:25, 0.8 Mb.)

Classification the Dragonflies

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Odonata Suborder: Anisoptera (true dragonflies) Suborder: Zygoptera (damselflies)

Watch a greater resolution version of this video on YouTube. Click Here: Jaws in Action!

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Dragonflies have two pairs of clean wings and also three bag of foot attached to the thorax. The wings room strengthened through net-like veins which have actually a distinct pattern because that each species. The thorax is slanted upwards. This brings the legs forward for perching on upright stalks and to form a basket for capturing flying insects. Lengthy spines ~ above the legs assist catch prey in flight. Dragonflies seldom use your legs because that walking. The thorax, v the an effective wing muscles, have the right to be 60% of a dragonfly"s weight.

You are watching: Does a dragonfly have an exoskeleton

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The abdomen is long, slim and an extremely flexible. It has 10 unique segments. Males have actually appendages on the end of the abdomen, dubbed claspers, to hold onto a female during mating. The reproductive offal are located in the abdomen.

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All insects breathe with tubes dubbed trachea that enable air to pass straight to your inner tissues, bringing oxygen in and also taking carbon-dioxide out. The trachea open up to the exterior air in ~ holes follow me the thorax and abdomen referred to as spiracles.

Food passes from the mouth come the foregut where it is soil up, then on to the midgut because that chemical breakdown and nutrient absorption. In the hindgut water and minerals are took in and feces room passed out through the anus.

Insects have actually an open circulatory device with a basic heart, a section of ship in the abdomen that pumps hemolymph (insect blood) come the prior of the body. It returns to the abdomen through open sinuses.

The main nervous mechanism is straightforward with a dorsal mind and ventral nerve cord comprise enlargements called ganglia. Each ganglion is like a mini brain controlling nerves within its region of the body.

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There space two teams within the Odonata: the true dragonflies (Suborder: Anisoptera) and also the damselflies (Suborder: Zygoptera). Here’s just how to tell lock apart:

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1. Head and also Eyes: In true dragonflies the head is rounded and the compound eyes touch each other at the top (except in one family). In damselflies, the head is wide, nearly dumbbell-shaped. The an are between the compound eyes is wider than the eye itself.

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2. Wings: Anisoptera way "unequal wings". In true dragonflies the 2nd pair of wing is broader than the first. A dragonfly at remainder spreads its wing apart, favor a moth. Zygoptera method "equal wings". Both pairs of a damselfly"s wings space similar. In ~ rest, many damselflies organize their wings together, above the body, prefer a butterfly.

3. Shape and Flight: Dragonflies space usually larger and also stouter 보다 damselflies and they fly strongly, out in the open. Damselflies have really slender bodies and also are weaker flyers, generally fluttering close to the floor or by special vegetation.

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For convenience, words “dragonfly” is used below to describe both dragonflies and also damselflies most of the time.