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Comparative characteristics of flight of dragon-flies

, : Comparative characteristics of flight of dragon-flies. Zh Obshch Biol 27(3): 349-359

Studies of the free flight of dragon-flies of 14 species (representatives of 6 families) resulted in a detained description of the following characteristics: flight trajectory and velocity, velocity changes, different maneuvers during the flight, time necessary for these maneuvers. Features that are common for all the species and those typical of each of them were established. The study made it possible to reveal similarity of remote and divergence of close taxonomic groups, thus indicating a significant independence of the flight characteristics from peculiarities of the wing morphology, particularly from the venation, that were used for diagnostics in the order of dragon-flies. Most distinct differences concerned the time spent by the insects on their turns in the horizontal plane and, consequently, their attitude in relation to the flight direction. From this viewpoint all the dragon-flies could be subdivided into 3 groups: Coenagrionidae and Lestidae, Agrionidae, and Anisoptera. As to other flight characteristics of the dragon-flies studied, no distinct differences were found; as a rule, this or that peculiarity revealed distinguished only one or 2 species.


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