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Larvae "hope for" the best possible weather conditions to emerge.  Emergence can be a dangerous process.  Many things can wrong as the soft insect emerges from its shell. When weather is rainy or cold for a very long period of time, the odonate will often die.  In order to reduce the risk of predators, it will usually emerge during the night.

When the odonate does meet with good conditions, it crawls out of the water and attaches itself to a bush, weed, rock, or structure.  It then waits until its shell is dried.  After a few hours the skin bursts, usually at the back near the wing case. The adult emerges through this hole in the shell.  Usually the head appears first followed by the thorax and legs.  At this point the odonate often takes a brief rest, and then releases its abdomen.  Then the insect abandons its exuvia, or larval case, and is now considered to be a teneral. The teneral quickly spreads his wings by filling the veins with blood.

Weather has a powerful effect on the dragonfly, not only when emergence is about to occur but also afterwards.   Harsh winds and rain can damage the dragonfly's body and wings or dislodge it from its perch. Overcrowding or objects in the way can interfere with the inflating of the wings or abdomen. As they are emerging, dragonflies cannot fly away, making them vulnerable to predators.  Dragonflies use an extreme amount of energy when emerging and some even die before completing this stage.

© 2019 Sheryl Chacon Search