Catching Prey

A nymph has a special way to catch and eat prey. Its lower lip folds under its head when it isn't hunting. When it sees prey, the lip shoots forward. The lip has sharp spines. They grab the prey.

Next, the nymph pulls its lip back to its jaws. The jaws are lined with teeth. They cut the prey into pieces. The nymph eats and grows.

A nymph shoots out its lower lip to catch prey.

Once caught, the prey is quickly eaten.

When the nymph is ready to be an adult, it molts one last time. It climbs out of the water. Its old skin peels away. It now has wings to fly!

From Larva to Adult

Take a closer look at the journey of a dragonfly:


New Nymph

The larva leaves its egg. It goes into the water as a nymph.


Instar Stages

The nymph molts many times as it grows.


Final Molt

The nymph leaves the water as it molts one last time.


Adult Dragonfly

The adult waits for its new skin to harden.


Ready for Flight

The adult dragonfly opens its wings in the sunlight. Then it takes its first flight.