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HABITAT

scientific illustration


CHALLENGE

Damselfly lifecycle and habitat illustration, Photoshop

 

RESULT

The information illustration displays a clear pathway of the cycle. Observation of reflections and other fine details of form and light quality; use of focus and colour values to create effective space. Callout of text is integrated as design element and balanced with visuals, if not minimal.

INSIGHT

Damselflies go through incomplete metamorphosis: egg, nymph stages and adult stage. After mating, the female lays her eggs in vegetation or directly in the water of ponds or rivers. Upon hatching, the nymph goes through approximately 10-12 immature stages, instar, feeding on small insects and fish. The life cycle of a damselfly is spent mostly in the aquatic nymph stage. They have three leaf-like gills near the rear that are specialized for breathing and propelling underwater. Spiracles, small holes on the surface of the nymph, obtain oxygen to the tracheal system.

 

The trachea are ribbed tubes that attach along the abdomen from the spiracle. The trachea branches into tracheole, thinner tubes, that supply oxygenated blood flow to the cells inside the damselfly. When the final instar approaches adulthood, it exits the water to moult its exoskeleton on a leaf, stem, or twig. The young damselfly emerges from behind the head and on top of the thorax with pale colouration and slowly expands its abdomen and wing. The transformation from aquatic to air-borne takes several hours to complete. Once it reaches adult stage, it will return to the water to mate.