Calopteryx splendens male

The Order Odonata order includes big predator insects like Dragonflies and Damselsflies, which spend the first part of their life in water hunting invertebrates and small fishes while the adults are good flyer who hunt flying insects.

Their nymphs are not very agile in the water, so they stalk and wait for their prey to pass nearby, close enough to be captured with their extendable lower lip called “Labium” which allows them to seize animal quite big as tadpols, small fish and even newborn snakes.

The amazing nymph hunting technique

The adult’s hunting technique is to catch the flying insect using their feet and quickly kill it with the mandibles. The hunting success rate is between 90% and 97% compared to the 20% achieved by cats which are also considered excellent hunters.

How can the dragonflies be so efficient? watch this video and find it out

They have very small antennas and an excellent sight.
The adults rest on roosts, twigs or leaves from which they can keep an eye on their hunting territory from above. They usually hunt in daylight until the early evening after sunset.

The Odonata Order is split in 2 main Infraorders:

  • Anisoptera
  • Zygoptera

Anisoptera are the Dragonflies, they have big composite eyes all around the head without separation, when they are not flying, wings are kept open. The fist wings pair is bigger then the second pair.

In this Dragonly, you can notice the very small antenna and the huge bicolour eyes which surround the whole insect’s head.
Picture by Valter Grillo

Zygoptera are the so called Damsels, generally a little smaller then the Dragonflies, they have the eyes on the side of the head quite distant from each other and when they rest, keep the wing closed on their back. Both wings pair have the same size and colour.

Calopteryx spendens male details
Calopteryx spendens male. Here you can see the details of the short antennas, the eyes in the head sides well separated between them and the wings kept in resting position behind his back.

There is also a small Infraorder Anisozygoptera which includes only the Family Epiophlebiidae which has only one genus Epiophlebia. This genus has 4 species between Japan and China
Epiophlebia diana Carle, 2012 China
Epiophlebia sinensis Li & Nel, 2011 China
Epiophlebia laidlawi Tillyard, 1921 Himalaya
Epiophlebia superstes (Selys, 1889) Japan

Want to know more? visit the following sites:


If liked this article you might want to check what else I published
to help me maintain this website and produce better pictures and contents, click here
Should you be interested in a particular topic, please tell me