Dragonfly Life Cycle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe life cycle of a Dragonfly can last sometimes for years, and a majority of their lifespan is spent as nymphs in the water. So let’s take a look at the life cycle of the dragonfly…

First, the female dragonfly lays eggs in or near the water. Afterwards, the eggs hatch into nymphs, or naiads, where most of the dragonfly’s life is spent. During its time underwater, the nymph willOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA mostly consumes mosquito larva, grub, or smaller proteins. The typical stage of the larva can last from months to even years, and it often varies based upon the species. According to Dragonfly Site the cycle can take up to “four years to complete, and if the nymph cycle is completed in the beginning of the wintertime, it will remain in the water until spring when it is warm enough to come out.” Generally speaking it lasts “last between one and three years.” When the nymph matures, in order to complete its metamorphosis into a dragonfly, it crawls out of the water onto a plant, rock, wall or any sturdy surface. In a time consuming process, the nymph will shed it’s exoskeleton, or skin. The dragonfly will then crawl out of it’s own larval skin,often called the exuvia.

After the dragonfly has left it’s skin, it begins to pump it’s wings so that it can begin flying. The adult stage of the dragon fly usually lasts for about 5 to 6 months. During this time the dragonfly will hunt for food, and look for a mate. Once two of the dragonflies mate, the female will lay eggs, and the life cycle of the dragonfly will begin once more.