Odonata Species : Identified
Around 50 Odonata species were identified on the first day of the two-day Odonata survey that commenced in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) recently
- Odonata is an insect order consisting of three groups: Anisoptera(which includes dragonflies), Zygoptera (which includes damselflies), and Anisozygoptera (a relict group represented by only two living species).
- It is one of the ancient orders of insects.
- Odonata is a diverse group, with over 6,000 known species.
- They are globally distributed, from the tropics, where they are most numerous and varied, to the boreal forests of Siberia and North America.
- They are also found throughout the Southern Hemisphere, with the exception of Antarctica.
India is highly diverse, with more than 500 known species.
- They are found in a variety of habitats, such as freshwater environments like ponds, rivers, and lakes, and are typically associated with bodies of water during their larval stage.
- Many characteristics distinguish Odonata from other groups of insects: minute antennae, extremely large eyes (filling most of the head), two pairs of transparent membranous wings with many small veins, a long slender abdomen, and an aquatic larval stage (nymph).
- The abdomen is almost always longer than any of the wings.
- More than 80% of their brain is devoted to analysing visual information.
- Large, active by day, and often strikingly coloured, they are usually seen flying near water.
- Their mouths have been adapted for biting, making them efficient hunters.
- Adult odonates are voracious predators, as are the aquatic larvae.