While it appears that Mother Nature gives all animals and insects their unique designs, the stealth design of dragonflies makes them not only exceptional predators, but also an inspiration for the extraordinary capacities of skillful flight and precise vision. The most curious and unusual aspect of all dragonflies remains their remarkable transformation from water loving nymphs to iridescent winged-insects soaring upon the air. Both as water-born nymphs and air-born dragonflies, these insects possess superior, predatory survival skills as a result of their stealth design.
Female dragonflies seek sources of fresh water in which to deposit their eggs; though some species are capable of utilizing salt water which is very rare for insects. The dragonfly larvae emerge as nymphs in the water world, wherein they will live for several years or longer undergoing multiple molts in preparation for their lives as dragonflies. This molting process is akin only to the caterpillar morphing into a butterfly, as all other animals and insects give birth directly to its same kind devoid of these necessary molts. Dragonfly nymphs possess stealth predator qualities marked by a hidden, long tongue called a labium by which to snatch their prey at a distance; rectal gills for underwater survival that provide fast jet propulsion; and precise vision with which to target their food source.
The completion of a nymph’s molting provides the trigger for the nymph to leave its water life, and transform into a stealth predator of the skies. As the nymph rests upon a stalk or branch beside its water home, the thorax body extends as its new, hidden wings unfold for an estimated seven months living in the air. Each wing can operate independently with its own set of muscles, enabling the new dragonfly to have stealth fighter jet precision for targeting and grabbing its prey while flying. A dragonfly can seize its prey with either its feet or with its sharp-toothed jaws by which to dissect and eat its meal in the air. Further, its stealth design allows for dragonflies to fly in every direction from backwards to sideways and even hover. Their flying speeds have been clocked at almost 20 miles per hour while also being dubbed as the insects with the most lengthy migratory distances reaching 10,000 miles. Dragonflies rival real stealth jets with their superior speed, maneuverability and endurance.
The new winged dragonfly expounds upon its precise vision as a nymph with added functionality. Its large eyes comprise most of its head granting 360-degree sight except for vision straight behind them. New studies now suggest that dragonflies can see more colors along with ultraviolet light that we humans cannot see. Our human eyes are limited to color combinations of blue, green and red, but the light sensitive proteins in a dragonfly’s eyes can reach up to 33 various types. Not only are dragonflies enjoying a multi-colored world, but their sight includes incredible, fine detail. The stealth design of dragonflies not only makes them the most impressive predators, but they possess the most precise, colorful vision within the animal and insect kingdoms.
So what might we learn from this amazing stealth dragonfly design? Dragonflies are not born with their stealth qualities, but rather it is the miraculous metamorphosis of the molting they undergo as nymphs in the water that determines their ultimate stealth design. We humans also possess an innate human design that is awaiting our transformation through the emotional waters of our being. We are like the dragonfly in our need to molt and shed the emotional shadows that perpetuate our victim status. As we shed the shadows and welcome the gifts of transformation, we, too, will find the wings of our stealth design with which to soar…and perhaps even become stealth warriors upon the Earth by which to overcome predatory enemies, especially those who desire to thwart our freedom to fly.