We’ve all seen them darting through the sky, or hovering in place.  They are stealthy predators amongst insects, yet so beautifully whimsical to watch.  They are the Dragonflies, and if I’ve learned anything it’s that anything with ‘dragon’ in it’s name is bound to be awesome!  I love to see these insects in person and after reading more about them they became the obvious candidate for our next CREATURE CREATION.

The Odonata

(Taken from their scientific classifcation)

The Odonata prefer to live around shallow waters, or marshy areas.  In order to use them in The Underground they’ll be found beyond the borders of the Mainlands (meaning they’ll be outside of the ‘backyard’).  There can be seen flying swiftly just above the water’s surface, in search of prey.  Maybe that’s where they get their name from, they certainly behave like mythological dragons.  I”m sure the other insect inhabitants would view them that way as well…if only they could breath fire!

The smallest family of North American Dragonflies I could find information on is the Banded Pennant, measuring in with a length of 38 millimetres.  While many other families show a length more than twice that size, we felt that this smaller group would be easier to utilize in the story.  Not to say that we won’t introduce a much larger, devastating cousin to the Pennants later on.  In our research we found that evidence of prehistoric Dragonflies with wingspans measuring more than 30cm has been recorded!  Sounds like that one would be a predator of the Man-Beasts rather than the insects.

And speaking of predator and prey, the Odonata doesn’t seem to be too picky when it comes to its diet.  They have been introduced into different environments in order to control mosquito populations.  We have plans to use mosquitoes as an airborne-mount for another insect species, introducing the Odonata as a natural predator to these riders will make for some awesome inflight battles.  Beyond the mosquitoes though, they will also prey on ants, bees, aquatic larva, and just about any other insect they can wrap their spiky legs around.

Even the dragonfly larva are vicious hunters.  They use their retractable lower jaws to grab their food, and pull them back into their waiting mouths.  With all this great imagery, it’s really hard NOT to find a place to fit this species into our story!