Emperor dragonfly

Emperor dragonfly

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Credit: ADRIAN BICKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator) emerging from its exuvia. The abdomen is hanging down as it has still not been pumped to its full length. The process of emergence takes several hours. During this time, bodily fluids are used to enlarge the head and eyes, the wings and finally the abdomen. By dawn the teneral dragonfly must be able to fly from the pond. It will not be sexually mature for several weeks. Dragonflies go through an incomplete metamorphosis, where each stage of maturity has a similar bodily form to the adult.

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Keywords: adult, aeshnidae, anax imperator, animal, biological, biology, dragonfly, emerge, emerged, emerging, emperor dragonfly, entomology, exuvia, fauna, hawker, insect, insecta, instar, invertebrate, invertebrates, larva, mature, maturity, metamorphosing, metamorphosis, nature, one, plant, single, stem, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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