The Santharian Dragonfly is a creature found throughout Santharia's forests. It is widely debated which class the Dragonfly fits into as it is winged yet it also has many traits of a reptile. It has even been considered an insect by some; however, most will agree that it is indeed a reptilian animal. There are two types of Dragonfly distinguished mainly by color. However, in a closer look it is found that these Dragonflies also inhibit various different behaviors. Body structure of the two Dragonflies is virtually the same and both have similar lifespans between 5 and 7 years.

The Water Dragonfly

View picture in full size Image Description: A Santharian Water Dragonfly. Picture drawn by Enayla.

Appearance. There are two distinct types of Dragonfly: the Tree Dragonfly, and the Water Dragonfly. The Tree Dragonfly ranges from a light tan to dark brown. The Water Dragonfly can be anywhere between a light mint green to a dark forest color. Both Dragonflies get darker as humidity increases. The more humid the environment the darker you will find the Dragonflies to be.

The Santharian Dragonfly grows to be 5-8 nailsbreadths, not including its tail, which is the same length as its body, or its wings, which are about the same width as the body. A Dragonfly has two sets of wings. The first set has a wingspan that is slightly shorter that its body, while the second set of wings are slightly longer than its body. These dual sets of wings allow the Dragonfly to fly at speeds of 10-15 peds/sec, although their cruising speed is 10 peds/sec. The Dragonfly can hover as well as fly backwards at half their normal speed. The Fly also has two sets of legs ending in four clawed toes which are used for climbing and standing. The tail is used for many purposes: as a whip for fighting, as a snare for grabbing and holding prey, and as a balance for holding on to branches and twigs to maintain its balance.

The head has a triangular shape and is typically dark brown or black with groups of spots that are used for identification. The tongue is thick and wide, ending in a very small fork. The tongue also has a sticky surface that helps the flies to catch and hold their prey. Their teeth are small and pointed and are used to hold or tear prey. When they are older and their jaws are more powerful the flies use their teeth to tear larger prey into digestible portions. Return to the top

Special Abilities. The Dragonfly has a keen sense of smell which enables it to be a very excellent hunter. Prey can be scented from over 100 peds away. The Santharian Dragonfly can not change colors to match its background, but it can become translucent when it senses danger; however, the fly can only do this when it is motionless. The Dragonfly must be very cautious as it has many different predators as natural enemies including birds of prey, fish and larger reptiles.

Another thing which needs to be mentioned is the great regenerative power of the Dragonfly. If the animal loses a leg, paw, or its tail, it will grow back to its full size and strength within approximately half a year. During this time, it will be crippled and will be assisted by its mate. If it looses one wing, it may still fly but it will fly crippled. If the Dragonfly looses two of its wings, it will not be able to fly, but it will be able to glide. Additionally, if the Dragonfly has crippled either its wings or one of its limbs, it will not be able to use that wing or limb with its full function. It is up to the animal's mate to remove the crippled limb or wing, in order that it may grow back completely.
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Territory. Dragonflies can be found in various places in Santharia. The most common places that you will find these creatures are in forest glades or near rivers. The most common places these creatures have been spotted include: the Sharadon Forest, the Auturian Woods, and the Zeiphyrian Forest.
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The Tree Dragonfly

Image Description. The small relative of the Santharian Water Dragonfly: the Tree Dragonfly. Picture drawn by Eshoh Kryvvlen.

Habitat/Behaviour. On rare occasions a swarm of Santharian Dragonflies can be seen, and this will only be for two reasons. One, for feeding on large prey, or two, at a so-called Dragonfly War (which only occurs after extended cold periods). Such swarms are extremely rare and are a source of legends and myth. Otherwise, the Dragonfly will never be seen in groups greater than two.

Dragonflies start their day with the midday sun and continue on until the setting of the sun. At sunset the Tree Dragonfly buries itself into its favorite tree and remains in a hibernate state until sunrise. The Water Dragonfly buries itself underground in its favorite cave and remains dormant until sunrise. During the cold months the Dragonfly remains in its dormant state until the weather warms.
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Diet. Dragonflies use the very sticky surface of their tongues to catch their prey. After their prey is caught they use their teeth, which are small and pointed to hold and tear the prey. Prey primarily consists of other small insects, snails, worms, and from time to time, small vertebrates. When the Dragonflies are older and their jaws are more powerful they use their teeth to tear larger prey into digestible portions.

The Santharian Dragonfly uses its very keen sense of smell to locate its prey. The Dragonfly can actually smell its prey at distances of greater than 100 peds. One of the Dragonfly's favorite tactics is to locate its prey from a distance, and glide silently in to snag it.
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Mating. The Dragonfly stays with its mate until one of the partners dies or is killed, and the remaining Fly will take another mate until one of them dies or is killed. Dragonflies mate between late spring and mid-summer.

When a female is ready to mate her partner, she will let out a scent very detectable to male Dragonflies. The male Dragonfly then lets the female know he is interested by bobbing his head up and down and circling around her. The two will then land on a tree and the male will mount the female, fertillizing the eggs she carries inside her. The female then will attatch her eggs to vegetation either in a pool of water or just above one. Where a female lays her eggs will determine what her eggs will become, either Water or Tree Dragonflies.

A Dragonfly larvae matures in two weeks that produces a 2 nb long dragonfly that immediately takes to the air in search of food. The water dragonfly is born from larvae (5-10) placed just under the surface of water attached to any aquatic vegetation. On the other hand the Tree Dragonfly is born from larvae that are placed above the water and attached to any aquatic vegetation. The lifespan of the Dragonfly is anywhere between 5 and 7 years, although there was one case found where a Dragonfly kept as a pet lived well past this to 12 years.
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