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Discover Nature: Dragonflies lay eggs

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Missouri Department of Conservation
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This week on Discover Nature, take a trip to a stream or pond near you, and observe the colorful dance of mating dragonflies across the surface of the water. 

Adult dragonflies have long, slender, often colorful abdomens with robust bodies, large compound eyes, and sometimes spotted patterns on horizontally-outstretched wings. 

They don’t start out this way, though.  In mid-summer, watch courting dragonflies fly low over water – often attached to their mates.  In-flight, females deposit eggs along the surface of the water.

Dragonflies spend most of their lives as drab aquatic nymphs – some species live for five years underwater before shedding their skin and becoming winged-adults. 

Dragonflies are important predators of mosquitoes, midges and other small insects, and nymphs are an important food source for fish and other aquatic animals. 

Nine Missouri dragonflies are Species of Conservation Concern.  The “Hine's emerald” dragonfly is Federally Endangered.

Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Trevor serves as KBIA’s weekday morning host for classical music. He has been involved with local radio since 1990, when he began volunteering as a music and news programmer at KOPN, Columbia's community radio station. Before joining KBIA, Trevor studied social work at Mizzou and earned a masters degree in geography at the University of Alabama. He has worked in community development and in urban and bicycle/pedestrian planning, and recently served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia with his wife, Lisa Groshong. An avid bicycle commuter and jazz fan, Trevor has cycled as far as Colorado and pawed through record bins in three continents.
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