Basic Structure

The principal structural feature of the adult Odonates are there adaption for flight; basically their wings. Adults have two pairs of narrow typically transparent wings and a long, slender abdomen consisting of 10 segments. The head has prominent eyes and an inconspicuous antenna; the thorax is tilted to accommodate the large wing muscles and sets the legs forward. This is so they can grasp prey, however, they are unable to walk due to this positioning.

The Odonates have large compound eyes, because of this it is thought that they have excellent vision. Their eyes are acutely responsive to movement and form (like T-Rex). The eyes play a key role in capturing food and interacting with others. In the dragonflies (Anisoptera suborder) the compound eyes meet at the top of the head and consists of 30,000 optical units. This gives the Anisopterans a view of 360 degrees. Damselflies (Zygoptera suborder) have there eyes well separated. Odonates also have three tiny, simple eyes called ocelli.

Another structural difference occurs at the other end of the body between the two suborders. Male damselflies have four tail appendages, whereas dragonflies only have three.

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