damselflies

(suborder Zygoptera)

Overview
spotted spreadwing
Photo by Scott Bemman
 
 

Zygoptera is the suborder of insects that includes damselflies. They occur on every continent except Antarctica. There are about 2,942 still surviving (extant) damselfly species in 309 genera in 27 families worldwide. There are 136 species in 22 genera in 5 families In North America north of Mexico. There are at least 42 damselfly species in Minnesota.

     
 

Damselflies spend most of their lives under water as nymphs. Nymphs are found in rivers and streams, in lakes and ponds, and in swamps and marshes. They eat mostly crustaceans, including water fleas, but also other aquatic invertebrates. Adults are found in good quality habitats not far from fresh water suitable for breeding. They will eat any small, flying, soft-bodied insect.

 
     
 
Description
 
 

Damselflies are similar to dragonflies but are smaller; the bodies are more slender; the heads are much wider than long (hammer-headed); the compound eyes are separated by at least the width of the eye; the forewings and hindwings are similar in size and shape and are held over the body (most species) or at a 45° angle (spreadwings) when at rest; the flight is weak and fluttering; and the ovipositor on the female is functional.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 17, 18, 24, 27, 29, 30, 72, 82.

 
  10/10/2020      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

broad-winged damselflies (Family Calopterygidae)

narrow-winged damselflies (Family Coenagrionidae)

shadowdamsels (Family Platystictidae)

spread-winged damselflies (Family Lestidae)

threadtails (Family Protoneuridae)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

damselflies

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  damselfly (suborder Zygoptera)    
       
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Other Videos
 
  Damselfly - Zygoptera
All The Animals In The World
 
   
 
About

May 18, 2016

Website: http://www.alltheanimalsintheworld.co...

The damselfly is found worldwide except Antarctica. There are almost 5000 species in the world. Find out the fast facts on our website.

   
       

 

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Visitor Sightings
   

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Alfredo Colon
Summer 2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

damselfly (suborder Zygoptera)


     
     
 
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Created: 10/11/2020

Last Updated:

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