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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Photo: Enter the dragonfly

Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

After emerging from its nymph stage, a dragonfly hangs from a leaf in the sunshine, drying its wings before taking flight near a pond on Guemes Island, in the San Juans.

In the nymph stage, a dragonfly lives in the water while growing and developing. This process can take up to four years to complete.

When fully grown and ready to emerge, the dragonfly climbs out of the water and sheds its skin.

The exoskeleton will stay stuck to the stem or leaf for a long time after the dragonfly has left it.

An adult dragonfly typically lives just a few months.

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