Dragonfly larva - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Dragonfly larva

Do dragonfly larva get out of the water to moult when they are still a larve?

A few months ago I saw what looked like a very tiny dragonfly larva. I saw it 2 days in a row, then never saw it again, so I assumed it had died.

But yesterday I saw a moult out of the water on the aquarium's top, which most likely belonged to this critter. It was much bigger than the first time I saw it, but really not big enough to be an adult dragonfly. I have no idea how long the moult has been there.

So I see 2 possibilities. It may be a dragonfly still in it's larva stage, and came out of the water to moult then got back in. Or it is some other insect which had reached it's adult stage and flew away in my appartment.

I still have no fish so for the time being it is no threat.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 10:01 PM
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They climb out to molt into dragon/damsel fly's. I find them all over the rocks when out river fishing.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 11:07 PM
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Some other animal. They are pupa, larvae and then full form. They start as eggs in the water, then form into a nasty looking alien little critter. Critter climbs out of water, sheds and then flies away.

Some unknown thingy is flying around in your apartment. That is for sure. ahha
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 02:30 PM
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The moult may be a damselfly's moult they're smaller in size

Regards, Dennis
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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What I am wondering, is it possible that this is not the moult to adult form, that it is still a larva and still in my tank?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 05:58 PM
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Dragonfly larvae molt around six to fifteen times before their terminal molt into the winged adult form (they're hemimetabolous, so there's no pupal stage). You would not typically see any but the final one above water, so the adult most likely flew out or drowned.

You could possibly also have (have had?) a damselfly larva or some other kind of aquatic insect ... for which my answer would be the same.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-05-2013, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Someone suggested it may be a diving beetle (Dytiscidae), and I think that's very possible. The size of the molt would have been too small even for a damselfly but would fit a diving beetle. And the larva looks like the critter I saw (very similar to a dragonfly larva).

So, I could now have an adult diving beetle in my aquarium... which means the first fish I get will need to be big enough to be it's predator and not it's prey. I am not sure what size of fish these things can hunt
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