Last Updated on Sunday, 10 April, 2022 10:46:16 AM

INDEX  >  Dragonflies of Borneo  >  Dragonfly Biology

Dragonfly Biology

A dragonfly is made up of three main body parts:

1- Head
2- Thorax
3- Abdomen

of dragonflies and damselflies

Adult Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) possess two pairs of long, narrow, and net-veined wings. The wing veins of Odonata are fused at their bases and the wings cannot be folded over the body at rest.

WINGS of dragonflies
WINGS of  damselflies
Sub equal front and hind wings are not similar Both wings are equal and similar in size and shape
Dragonflies hold the wings horizontally outward when at rest. Damselflies hold the wings folded parallel with the abdomen or tilted upward
Dragonflies hold the wings horizontally outward when at rest Damselflies hold the wings folded parallel with the abdomen or tilted upward
Family Aeshnidae
Gynacantha basiguttata
♀ 66mm

Family Gomphidae
Ictinogomphus decoratus
♂ 65mm

 Orthetrum pruinosum
♂ 44mm

Family Aeshnidae
Anax panybeus
♂ 92mm

Family Gomphidae
Sieboldius japponicus
♂ 83mm

Family Libellulidae
Agrionoptera insignis
♀ 43mm
Pseudagrion Pilidorsum ♂

Libellago Semiopaca ♀

Vestalis Amaryllis ♂

Family Calopterygidae
Vestalis amoena
♀ 50mm

Family Euphaeidae
Euphaea subcostalis
♂ 37mm

Family Chlorocyphidae
Libellago semiopaca
♀ 22mm

Family Coenagrionidae
Xiphiagrion cyanomelas
♀ 26mm


Frons of Dragonfly
Frons of Dragonfly

The compound eyes of dragonflies
Dragonflies and damselflies have large compound eyes that can see in all directions. When the compound eye is magnified several hundred times, each individual facet (ommatidium) is shown to be hexagonal in shape.

Eyes separated widely from other Eyes meet partially along a seam Eyes barely touch at a centre point Eyes meet along a long seam Eyes close but not quite touching
Family Gomphidae Some of Libellulidae
Some of Libellulidae

Dragonflies active under strong sunshine
Family Aeshnidae
Some of Libellulidae

Dragonflies active at night.

Eyes of a male Nannophya pygmaea
Eyes of a male Brachydiplax chalybea
Eyes of  a female Agrionoptera insignis


Eyes of a female Camacinia gigantea

Tholymis tillarga (Fabricius, 1798)



Ichneumon sp BORNEO
Insects of Borneo

Insects are  diverse and dominant inhabitants of the tropical rainforests in Borneo Island. New species are discovered too often. Entomologists are still struggling to cope with the documentation of tropical insect diversity.

Red Dragonfly of Sabah
Red Dragonfly of Sabah

Most of the common dragonflies in Sabah are red coloured, especially from the family Libellulidae.  Some red pecies are even confused as same species, for example the three species of Genus Neurothemis.

Ovipositor (Vulvar Lamina)
of Female Dragonflies and Damselflies

Female dragonflies have either one of the two method of depositing eggs from the abdomen:
1- using Ovipositor Structure
2- using Vulvar Lamina

Male do not have an ovipositor. Instead male dragonfly and damselfly have appendages.


Ficus subgelderi 淡金榕
Fig trees of Sabah

Borneo has 150 species of wild fig trees. Most of them are found in forests of Sabah.

Tiger Prawn Farms in Tawau
Tiger Prawn Farms in Tawau

Prawn farming is a main commercial activities in Tawau. Spawners from Tawau are graded the best in Malaysia. For decades, Tawau has been exporting high-grade tiger prawns to several countries such as Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Egypt and Australia.

Web Analytics
Damselflies of Borneo