Dragonflies

Areas with high concentration of dragonflies

by admin - May 12th, 2013.
Filed under: Study of Dragonflies.

The best place to look for dragonflies is in their natural habitat. A habitat will have to consist of several factors for it to be ideal, providing food and water, as well as space for various types of animals, plants and insects to interact and survive. Here are some of the types of habitat that dragonflies inhabit:

Rivers
Rivers are bigger than streams, and flows into a lake or ocean. When a river meets a flat expanse, the waters slow and spread out. This causes the silt to be deposited on the bottom. Where the river is slower and more sluggish, the water is nutrient-rich and warmer, making it more ideal for plant growth than upstream. The increased plant growth then provides more shelter for various types of insects, amphibians, and reptiles.

Some rivers are fast moving, while others are slow moving. Different types of dragonflies have preferences for either one.

Fast Rivers – Because the water in fast rivers move swiftly, organic materials don’t have the opportunity to accumulate. This in turn means that the food source is limited, and so is plant life. However, some dragonflies prefer this, like the Riverine Clubtail and Cobra Clubtail, and Stygian Shadowdragon.

Slow-moving River – The sluggish part of a river – where the rushing waters meet a flat expanse – is where the waters are nutrient-rich and the water is warmer. This makes it more conducive to plant growth, and in turn makes it a better food source for a variety of insects and amphibians. Dragonflies that prefer slow moving rivers with sandy bottoms are the Elusive Clubtail, Arrow clubtail, Skillet Clubtail, Common Sanddragon. Others prefer muddy bottoms, like Illinois River Cruiser and Prince Baskettail. Finally, some dragonflies prefer gravel bottoms like the Phygmy Snaketail.

Streams
Streams collect waste material such as dead leaves and rotting wood. This becomes the food source for various organisms, from bacteria to fungi. They form slime around leaves and rocks, and become the main food source of aquatic larvae.

Swift Streams – Because swift streams don’t allow organic materials to gather easily, there aren’t a lot of dragonflies that can be found around them. However, the ones that are attracted to swift streams are relatively uncommon, like snaketails.

Slow Streams – When fast streams mature, they turn into slow moving streams. Like those of rivers, slower streams are warmer and more-nutrient rich than fast streams. Many dragonflies enjoy the abundant food supply provided by this type of stream, like the Racket-tailed Emerald, Ski-tailed Emerald, Dot-tailed Whiteface and Ashy Clubtail.

stream

Still Water
Some dragonflies prefer to inhabit still water like ponds, lakes, bogs, and fence.

Lake – Natural or manmade lakes can be good habitats for dragonflies. Water plants usually are found near the shoreline since the middle might be too deep for rooted plants. Shallower lakes are richer in insects and algae, making it more ideal for dragonfly inhabitation.

Pond – Ponds are bodies of water shallow enough for plants to take root in them. They are usually home to Skimmers, which are a very large family of dragonflies, as well as Bluets and Forktails.

 

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