Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Zygoptera

River Jewelwing

Zygoptera is the suborder of insects which damselflies belong to. It is one half of the order Odonata which also includes the suborder Anisoptera which are the dragonflies. Zygoptera roughly translates as "same Wing". The fore and hind wings of the damselfly are approximately the same size and shape where dragonflies have different shaped fore and hind wings. 
Variable Dancer
There are some other differences that can help identify between zygoptera (damselflies) and anisoptera (dragonfly) but many of these other field marks have exceptions. Damselflies all have eyes that are widely separated while most dragonflies, with the exception of the clubtail family, all have eyes that meet in the middle. Dragonflies are typically larger then damselflies, however the longest odonata in the world is the helicopter damselfly of South America. Dragonflies usually perch holding their wings out flat at their sides where damselflies perch with their wings folded together over their back with the exception of the spreadwing damselflies that hold their wings out at a 45 % angle at their side.


11 comments:

photowannabe said...

I( was wondering what the difference between the two was. Thanks for the info. Nice photos.

Gunilla said...

They're beautiful!

HoodPhoto said...

Gorgeous photos!!!

If you get a chance, stop by my blog and "Like" Hood Photography on Facebook! Thanks!

Roger Owen Green said...

Yes, Latin wins out again!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Gattina said...

No wonder that these disgusting insects have such complicated names, lol !
Gattina
ABC team

Modesto Viegas said...

Great macros!

Black Jack's Carol said...

I have been calling them all dragonflies (and loving them) but will now try to distinguish between damsel and dragon. Remembering the latin terms may take a while but I live in hope :) Thank you!

Paula Scott said...

You MUST be a scientist! Well, if you aren't, you'd pass as one! What beautiful damselflies those are, my dear!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I was on my way to the Great Horned Owl, and what a great capture and then saw these
en route, awesome macros~

Carol said...

great shot..we never realize just how beautiful they are.

Kim Stevens said...

That second shot is awesome, loving that purple!