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Dragonflies and Damselflies on Jersey stamps

Dragonflies and Damselflies on Jersey stamps
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Jersey post issued a set of 6 stamps featuring dragonflies and damselflies.

A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata, the suborder Epiprocta or, in the strict sense, the infraorder Anisoptera. It is characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body. The name "dragonfly" derives from dragon, a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, and the Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan, Korea and other East Asian countries.

The two traditions may have evolved separately, but have influenced each other to a certain extent, particularly with the cross-cultural contact of recent centuries. The English word "dragon" derives from Greek (drakon), "dragon, serpent of huge size, water-snake".

Damselflies (suborder Zygoptera) are insects in the order Odonata. Damselflies are similar to dragonflies, but the adults can be distinguished by the fact that the wings of most damselflies are held along, and parallel to, the body when at rest. Furthermore, the hindwing of the damselfly is essentially similar to the forewing, while the hindwing of the dragonfly broadens near the base. Damselflies are also usually smaller than dragonflies and weaker fliers in comparison, and their eyes are separated.

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