last updated July 12th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
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Any of various large insects of the order Odonata or suborder Anisoptera, having a long slender body and two pairs of narrow, net-veined wings that are usually held outstretched while the insect is at rest. Also called darning needle, devil's darning needle, ear sewer, mosquito hawk, skeeter hawk, snake doctor, snake feeder, spindle.
Regional Note: Regional terms for the dragonfly are numerous, providing good evidence for dialect boundaries in the United States. The greatest variety of terms is to be found in the South, where the most widespread term is snake doctor (a name based on a folk belief that dragonflies take care of snakes). The Midland equivalent is snake feeder. Speakers from the Lower South, on the other hand, are more likely to refer to the same insect as a mosquito hawk or, in the South Atlantic states, a skeeter hawk. The imagery outside the South alludes more to the insect's shape than to its behavior or diet: Upper Northern speakers call it a darning needle or a devil's darning needle; those in Coastal New Jersey, a spindle; and Northern Californians, an ear sewer.
Dragonfly, common name for any member of an order of predaceous aquatic insects with an elongate body, agile flight, and two pairs of membranous wings. The order is divided into two suborders: the dragonflies and the damselflies. About 5900 species are known; members are found in all temperate and tropical regions of the world.
The adult head consists largely of the compound eyes; the antennae are short and hairlike. Mouthparts are adapted for biting and for scooping prey from the air. The legs are located far forward on the body and are used mainly to grasp a resting spot such as a twig. Most temperate-zone species of dragonflies have wingspreads of 5 to 8 cm (2.0 to 3.1 in), but wingspreads of tropical species may reach 20 cm (7.9 in).
Male dragonflies are known for their territorial
behavior. An individual will stake out an area that he continuously patrols
as he awaits a passing female. He will chase other males from the area.
Dragonflies and damselflies are important in the food webs of freshwater
streams and lakes. The immature forms live in freshwater as predators,
normally feeding on other invertebrates, while adults consume large quantities
of mosquitoes and other small flying insects.
Scientific classification: Dragonflies and damselflies together make up the order Odonata. Dragonflies make up the suborder Anisoptera, damselflies make up the suborder Zygoptera.
A dragonfly's wings are the key to its flying ability. If you look closely, you will see that a dragonfly has two wings on each side of its body--a long front wing and a slightly shorter back wing. During flight, small but powerful "tornados" of air move along each of the dragonfly's front wings. These tiny tornadoes help the dragonfly maintain its lift. A dragonfly's back wings help keep the "tornadoes" from breaking up.
Why are they called dragonflies?
The name comes from their fierce jaws, which they use to catch flies (among other winged insects).
Where do dragonflies come from?
The dragonfly begins its life as an egg. Adult female dragonflies lay their eggs in water. After about two weeks, the eggs hatch and an immature dragonfly, or nymph, emerges. The nymphs are not pretty like the adults. They have tiny wings and a large lower lip, which they use to catch their prey (often mosquito larvae). Dragonfly nymphs live in the water. As they grow, they molt. Nymphs of some species may take as long as three years to mature.
When the dragonfly nymph reaches maturity, it crawls out of the water onto a plant stem. Then its skin begins to split. First the head, then the thorax, then the legs, and then the wings of an adult dragonfly emerge. Soon the newly emerged dragonfly is able to fly. The process takes about two hours. It takes about two days before the adult dragonfly's beautiful colors are fully developed. Adult dragonflies live only a few months.
How long have dragonflies been around?
Dragonflies are ancient insects. They were around before the dinosaurs. Ancient dragonflies may have been considerably larger than those we see today. A fossilized impression of a dragonfly wing, found in a coal mine in England, is the oldest known dragonfly specimen. This dragonfly lived 300 million years ago and had a wingspan of eight inches. The largest known dragonfly had a wingspan of 24 inches (two feet). Today, the largest dragonfly is found in South America and has a wingspan of slightly over seven inches. Other than being smaller, modern-day dragonflies do not look very different from their ancestors.
Are dragonflies like other insects?
Dragonflies and damselflies belong to an order
of insects all their own, called Odonata. Although the
two are similar, damselflies are smaller than dragonflies. In addition, damselflies can fold their wings over their backs when they are at rest. Dragonflies can't fold their wings, so they rest with their wings held straight out.
Are dragonflies beneficial to humans?
Yes. In fact, dragonflies are sometimes called
"mosquito hawk" because they catch and eat
so many mosquitoes. Always on the hunt, dragonflies consume gnats, flies, and mosquitoes--all of which humans consider pests.
Why are dragonflies such good hunters?
Dragonflies' ability to maneuver makes them able
to out-fly their prey. But dragonflies also have the
advantage of excellent eyesight. If you've ever watched dragonflies, no doubt you have noticed their huge eyes. Each of the two large eyes is made up of thousands of six-sided units. Together, these smaller eyes enable a dragonfly to detect even the slightest movement. To test this, try sneaking up and catching a dragonfly. You usually come up empty-handed.
Dragonfly - Order odonata 604
subsidiary of Butterfly records
_A Voyage Into Trance_ mixed by Paul Oakenfold and Danny Rampling
_The Technical Use of Sound in Magick_ compilation CD (1996)
By the grace of Isis, these great Psychedelic masters have channeled this alchemical mix of state of the art technology, with liquid sound and tribal rhythm to reveal a universal means of communication withimmediate emotional impact, irrespective of culture or conditioning. With these vibrational arts, we are able to catalyse the unifying power of Dance to open up a trialogue between the subconscious, conscious and superconscious levels of our awareness. The power of the magus is to channel this awareness through Order and Chaosto enable us to understand the new realities of the expanded consciousness, to allow the music to serve as navigational maps for newly discovered interior territories which modern technology has made accessible.
The mind, like a computer with unlimited access to any programs, roams freely. A present event becomes charged with profound emotional significance, a cosmic phenomenon becomes identical with some personal quirk. Metaphysical realities are juggled and bounced around. Listening to this music initiates us into illumination, the power generated by the absolute universal goddess, a heady mix of exaltation and horror that accompanies her. Each party a ceremony, each piece of music a ritual which blasts us through dimensions, galaxies unknown, to places deep within our own consciousness.
Dedicated to the spirit of Timothy Leary.
_Classix_ compilation CD
tracklisting for disc 1:
Release: _Order Odonata - Experiments That Identify Change_ compilation
_Order Odonata Vol. 4_ compilation
_Parallel Youniversity Presents: The Warp Experience_
compilation CDx2 on Dragonfly/LSD
_Order Odonata Vol. 5_ compilation (2000)
_Order Odonata Vol. 6_ compilation (2001)
_A Better Life Through Chemistry_ compilation (2002)
_Elucidations_ compilation CD
_Karmaflage 2_ compilation CD (2001)