This video reveals the secret to the dragonfly’s backward flight, Science, AAAS

This video reveals the secret to the dragonfly’s backward flight

By Victoria Davis Jul. 2, 2018 , 10:30 AM

Dragonflies are acrobats of the sky. They can fly upside down, turn 360° on a dime, and fly more than 55 kilometers per hour. They can even fly backward with as much skill as they fly forward. Now, researchers have figured out how they execute this tricky talent.

Scientists captured more than 40 dragonflies in the wild and placed dots on their wings to record their movements. They then let the insects go in the lab and recorded them with high-speed cameras.

When the scientists analyzed the videos, they discovered that dragonflies angle their bodies upward, like a helicopter, when they fly backward. They use their wings to pull back with the same amount of force they use to propel themselves forward. Flying backward is surprisingly aerodynamic for the insects, which don’t use any more energy than when they fly forward, the team reported last week in the Journal of The Royal Society Interface.

The findings suggest that dragonflies are capable of flying backward for an extended amount of time. They are also capable of taking off from different resting positions, which comes in handy when there is an obstacle—or predator—in front of them. The work may also help engineers design more dexterous aerial robots—even ones that, yes, can fly backward.

www.sciencemag.org

How to create a dragonfly garden

A freshwater source and appropriate plants are key to attracting these colorful insects.

If you want to attract dragonflies to your garden, there are several ways to create a habitat to bring these brightly colored creatures zooming, hovering and darting across your landscape. Two involve smart planning; the third requires a bit of luck.

One planning strategy is to build a water source such as a small pond. Dragonflies — the ancestors of which are among the Earth’s oldest insects — are aquatic insects that need a freshwater environment to breed. The second is to provide a food source. A garden with a diversity of plants will serve that need quite well because the flowers will attract a variety of tiny insects on which the dragonflies can feed. A benefit to gardening for dragonflies is that they’re aerial predators that devour insects. Not only do they feast on no-see-ums such as gnats, they also help control the No. 1 summertime outdoor nemesis, the annoying mosquito. Their appetite for mosquitoes and their fast-flying ambush acrobatics while on the hunt have earned them the nickname «mosquito hawk.»

www.mnn.com

Dragonflies and damselflies

Where to see dragonflies and damselflies

Dragonflies and damselflies

No summer outing would be complete without hearing the tell-tale sound of a patrolling dragonfly as it hunts over a nearby pond. Their aerial manouvres rival the fastest military aircraft as they duck and turn in pursuit of prey, or narrowly avoid the clutches of hungry hobbies. These adaptable insects lord over wetlands, moorland and even woodland glades, feeding on flies, midges and even each other. If you thought butterflies were the only insects worth a second glance, these multi-coloured, iridescent predators demand appreciation too.

Find dragonflies and damselflies near you

Do a little research in advance and find out some of the best Wildlife Trust reserves to see dragonflies and damselflies.

North

Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Black Lake — A natural hidden gem, Black Lake sits in the heart of Delamere Forest Park. It is home to a vast range of dragon and damselflies, which can be enjoyed at close quarters from the shores of this remnant ‘schwingmoor’ bog pool. Highlights include brown hawker, four-spotted chaser and ruddy darter.

Danes Moss — A mosaic of bog pools and woodland, dragonfly numbers at Danes Moss can be astounding, with many species often flying to investigate visitors and land on brightly-coloured clothing. Our smallest dragonfly the black darter can be seen here, and the Trust is undertaking works to improve habitats for these aerial acrobats.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Foulshaw Moss — An ancient raised mire with 11 species, including emerald and blue-tailed damselfly, black darter and emperor dragonfly. In summer common lizards, adder and slow worm may also be encountered. The white-faced darter, found on only one other site in Cumbria, is being reintroduced here.

Barkbooth Lot — Damsel and dragonflies are numerous around the tarns — more than 10 species have been recorded. The downy emerald dragonfly breeds here, as do the emperor, common darter and four-spotted chaser. Damselflies are also abundant with common blue, azure and large red the most likely to be encountered. The beautiful demoiselle can also be seen.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Summerseat Nature Reserve — Woodland with a stand of common reed, the two ponds on the site provide a fascinating habitat for dragonflies and damselflies such as the broadbodied chaser, the large red damsel, the southern hawker, the common hawker and the emerald damselfly. Amphibians are also abundant, with both smooth and palmate newts present.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust

Falstone Moss — Upland bog with a boardwalk allowing you to see the wildlife in and around the pools. Rare plants grow amoung the sphagnum mosses, and the central pool has golden-ringed dragonfly, common hawker, black and common darter, and large red, azure and emerald damselfly.

Tees Valley Wildlife Trust

Coatham Marsh — This is Tees Valley Wildlife Trust’s premier reserve for dragonflies and damselflies. Take a stroll around the ponds and pools in the post industrial landscapes and you may see glimpses of the these insects in amongst the extensive reed beds. A good site to see common darter, common blue and large red damselflies as well as water vole, orchids and many wetland birds.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Potteric Carr — Yorkshire WT’s largest reserve, the main habitats include open water, reedbed, woodland, marsh, and small meadows, all of which create a rich diversity of wildlife. A total of 21 species of dragon and damselfly have been recorded, including azure damselfly, brown hawker and common darter.

www.wildlifetrusts.org

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TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PROVIDED BY LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL THE COMPANY, ITS AFFILIATES, OR THEIR LICENSORS, SERVICE PROVIDERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, OFFICERS, OR DIRECTORS BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, UNDER ANY LEGAL THEORY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE WEBSITE, ANY WEBSITES LINKED TO IT, ANY CONTENT ON THE WEBSITE, INCLUDING: ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PERSONAL INJURY, PAIN AND SUFFERING, EMOTIONAL DISTRESS, LOSS OF REVENUE, LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS OR ANTICIPATED SAVINGS, LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF GOODWILL, LOSS OF DATA, AND WHETHER CAUSED BY TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), BREACH OF CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF FORESEEABLE. THE FOREGOING DOES NOT AFFECT ANY LIABILITY THAT CANNOT BE EXCLUDED OR LIMITED UNDER APPLICABLE LAW.

Indemnification

You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Company, its affiliates, licensors, and service providers, and its and their respective officers, directors, employees, contractors, agents, licensors, suppliers, successors, and assigns from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, judgments, awards, losses, costs, expenses, or fees (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating to your violation of these Terms and Conditions of Use or your use of our website, including, but not limited to, your User Contributions, any use of our website’s content, services, and products other than as expressly authorized in these Terms and Conditions of Use or your use of any information obtained from our website.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction

All matters relating to our website and these Terms and Conditions of Use and any dispute or claim arising therefrom or related thereto (in each case, including non-contractual disputes or claims), shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of Delaware without giving effect to any choice or conflict of law provision or rule.

Any legal suit, action, or proceeding arising out of, or related to, these Terms and Conditions of Use or our website shall be instituted exclusively in the federal courts of the United States or the courts of the State of Delaware and we retain the right to bring any suit, action, or proceeding against you for breach of these Terms and Conditions of Use in your country of residence or any other relevant country. You waive any and all objections to the exercise of jurisdiction over you by such courts and to venue in such courts.

Arbitration

At our sole discretion, we may require users to submit any disputes arising from the use of these Terms and Conditions of Use our website, including disputes arising from or concerning their interpretation, violation, invalidity, non-performance, or termination, to final and binding arbitration under the Rules of Arbitration of the American Arbitration Association applying Delaware law.

Limitation on Time to File Claims

Any cause of action you might have arising out of or relating to our Terms and Conditions of Use must be commenced within one (1) year after the accrual of the cause of action; otherwise the cause of action or claim is permanently barred.

Waiver and Severability

No waiver by the Company of any term or condition set out in these Terms and Conditions of Use shall be deemed a further or continuing waiver of such term or condition or a waiver of any other term or condition, and any failure of the Company to assert a right or provision under these Terms of and Conditions Use shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any provision of these Terms and Conditions of Use is held by a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be eliminated or limited to the minimum extent such that the remaining provisions of the Terms of Use will continue in full force and effect.

Entire Agreement

These Terms and Conditions of Use, supplemented and clarified by our Privacy Notice, constitute the sole and entire agreement between us and users regarding our website. They supersede all prior and contemporaneous understandings, agreements, representations, and warranties, both written and oral, regarding our website.

Your Comments and Concerns

This website is operated by:

St. George Avenue Saskatoon, SK, S7M0K7

All notices of copyright infringement claims should be sent to [email protected] . All other feedback, comments, requests for technical support, and other communications relating to the Website should be directed to [email protected] .

draganfly.com

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