Dragonfly larva

Dragonfly larva

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption: Unidentified dragonfly larva. The dragonfly spends more time in the larval form (2-5 years) than as an adult (summer). It lives underwater, emerging at the end of its larval life, to hatch on a pondside stem. The larvae are carnivorous. They stalk their prey by walking around on vegetation lying on the bottom of a pond or lie, half submerged, in wait for the victim to appear. The forward-protruding eyes covering the side & top of the head enable good judgement of distance. The mouthparts are unique among insects; a specially modified labium, which folds under the head when not in use & extends outward rapidly to secure prey & return it to the mandibles.

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Keywords: animal, dragonfly, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, larva, nature, wildlife, zoology

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