Emperor dragonfly metamorphosis

Emperor dragonfly metamorphosis

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This image is part of the sequence Animals: Metamorphosis of an Emperor dragonfly

Credit: ANDY HARMER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Image 7 of 7. Emperor dragonfly metamorphosis. Emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator) having emerged from its larval skin (lower centre), following metamorphosis. Emperor dragonfly larvae (nymphs or naiads) live in ponds for 2-5 years. The nymph then crawls out of the water, and its skin splits, allowing the adult form (imago) to emerge. Its wings are then pumped up with blood and the abdomen filled with air, before the body dries and hardens. Once fully dried it takes on its distinctive colouration (as here). Dragonflies live as adults for a single summer. See images Z300/148 to Z300/154 for a sequence of the dragonfly emerging.

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Keywords: adult, anax imperator, animal, britain, british, development, dragonfly, emerging, end, finish, growth, hatch, hatches, hatching, imago, insect, insecta, instar, invertebrate, invertebrates, larva, metamorphosis, naiad, nature, nymph, sequence, shedding, skin, splitting, stage, stages, wildlife, zoology

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