Dragonflies

Dragonflies (Odonata) are one of the oldest groups of insects on Earth. These flying insects are present in almost all freshwater habitats, while the highest number of species inhabits ponds and lakes with rich vegetation. The largest part of their life they spend as larva feeding on the bottom of a pond or lake. Adult dragonflies are skilful fliers and can incredibly fly up to 135 km per hour. They feed on mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, and sometimes even other dragonflies. At the same time, they are prey to other insects, fish, amphibians, and birds. Because of their importance in a food chain they represent important bioindicators of the ecological condition of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Twenty two species of dragonflies have been recorded so far in the Special Nature Reserve Kraljevac, including the rare and strictly protected Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and the Ornate Bluet (Coenagrion ornatum; Anex II of Habitats Directive).