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Insect. Dragonflies first lived 300 million years ago, and predate dinosaurs by more than 100 million years and birds by some 150 million. They had wingspans up to 61 centimeters (24 inches). Dragonflies spend only a very short part of their lives as flying insects. Instead they live as nymphs (wingless, immature form) for up to four years, shedding their skin as much as fifteen times, finally maturing into adults who will survive only a few months. They can fly up to 97 kilometers (60 miles) per hour and are able to make lightning stops and starts, and instant right-angle turns.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Order Odonata (2500 different species) A few weeks to a year.
Carnivore. Mosquitoes, flies.
Predators and Threats
Freshwater ponds, lakes and streams; worldwide.