Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Two huge compound eyes: 30.000 facets or "ommatidia" give the dragonfly a mosaic picture of its environment: The best eye sight in the animal kingdom.
Occipital triangle: between and behind both eyes; absent in the Gomphidae family.
- 2 short antennae
Forehead: between the vertex and the clypeus
Clypeus: between the forehead and the mandibles; includes the ante-clypeus above and the post-clypeus, below.
Vertex: front triangle between the eyes where the 3 photosensitive ocellae
- Ocellae:
basic eyes capting light variations usually disposed in a triangle above the head (vertex).
Labrum: the face's inferior part below the clypéus
Mandibles: Both parts of the jaws allowing mastication of food.
Labium: structure covering the mandibles

Ornate with ante-humeral stripes, inter-pleural sutures, a metastigma & the pronotum situated under the head.
The thorax supports legs, head, wings and abdomen

 Part of the body situated under the thorax and divided into 10 segments the abbreviation of which is for example S1, S2, etc....
The male's abdomen is prolonged by cercoïds and the supra-anal blade.
The female's abdomen ends with anal appendices above and  the ovipositor below, consisting of the vulvar scale and of the valve.

Their structure is extremely complex and varies much from one species to another. They consist of external ribs, cells & nodes, each of which parts is very variable and more or less coloured.


 Anisoptera: large dragonfly keeping its wings opened and flat when perched.

- Anal-blade: Anisoptera inferior anal appendices sometimes divided into 2 lobes.

- Andromorph: female coloured like males

- Anterior lamina:  transversal structure of the male's copulatory parts, placed before the hook.
- Ante-humeral band: situated on the thorax's humeral suture.

 - Apex: summit of the wing, opposed to its base.

Basal: situated at or near the base. Contrary of apical.

Careen: longitudinal bulged line along the thorax or the abdomen.

Caudal spot: area more or less coloured, near the top of the abdomen's end.

Cercoids: supra anal appendices.

Cerci: inferior anal appendices.

Copulatory parts: male appendices for stocking and transferring sperm, under the 2nd abdominal segment.

- Copulatory wheel: mating formation in the shape of a heart.
Coxa: segment joining the leg to the thorax.

Hook: hitching copulatory organ to hold the female.

Hyaline: transparent - as the wings of emerging dragonflies.

Imago: mature or adult insect.

- Inter-pleural band: situated between 2 ante-humeral stripes

Maturation: Post-emerging period from the exuvia allowing the insect to reach adulthood;

- Maturation zone: area where dragonflies mature before reproduction.

- Medio-dorsal band: situated along the top of the abdomen

Metastigma: respiratory orifice on the side of the thorax.

- Node or nodus:  reinforcement of the front wing's anterior edge, situated at mi-distance between the base & the pterostigma.

Ovipositor: female organ or appendix, situated under the last abdomen segment, allowing the insect to lay its eggs.

- Pronotum: Shied-like part situated behind the head, before the thorax, on which the Zygoptera markings allow for their differentiation and ID.

Pruin: waxy plum-like coloration, visible in some aged individuals.

Pterostygma: thickened and diamond-shaped opaque spot, often coloured, at the wing's apex or near it.

S1, S4: abbreviation for the abdomen's segments.

Suture: line joining certain some parts.

Tandem: male maintaining a female with his anal appendices or hook.

- Vulvar blade: female organ under S8 in the shape a lip or pouring stout, from where the eggs are dropped. Replaced by an ovipositor in the species laying eggs on emerged vegetation.

- Zygoptera: damselflies; when perched their wings are kept together or slightly spread.