External Anatomy

All odonates have the same basic body plan consisting of a head, thorax carrying three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings, and abdomen.

Most of the head consists of the compound eyes and the mouth and associated parts. The thorax contains the muscles that control the movements of the wings and legs. The abdomen, which is divided in 10 segments, contains the digestive and reproductive systems.

Below are drawings showing the main external structural characteristics of dragonflies and damselflies.


Dragonflies (Anisoptera)

Download Dragonfly Anatomy PDF

External Dragonfly Anatomy

Damselflies (Zygoptera)

Download Damselfly Anatomy PDF

External Damselfly Anatomy