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Endangered Animals Theme Unit
Warpaint Emerald Dragonflies



Warpaint Emerald Dragonflies
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.79

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    aloft, creed, instinct, larger-sized, locking, mossy, overcast, sphagnum, thaw, gills, plentiful, nymph, section, abdomen, dragonfly, pumped
     content words:    Warpaint Emerald


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Warpaint Emerald Dragonflies
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     The long summer evening was shorter than usual with its overcast sky. The ponds and pools were full of activity. Mosquito larvae waited at the surface of the water until something disturbed it or a shadow passed over. Then they would suddenly wriggle downwards.
 
2     It was over such a pool that a Warpaint Emerald dragonfly female hovered. The males love bright sunny days, but the females prefer overcast skies.
 
3     She found a section of water that she liked for laying her eggs. Then she hovered and dipped her abdomen into the water over and over but in a slightly different place each time.
 
4     The eggs settled into the sphagnum moss in the shallow water, hidden from predators until hatching time. The summer ended, and winter came. The little eggs were encased in ice until the spring thaw released them once more.
 
5     Life filled each egg. Soon a small dragonfly nymph hatched. She was a hunter from the first moment she emerged. She also looked nothing like her future adult self.
 
6     She had a long body and six legs but no wings. Most of all, she was hungry. The nymph did not care what she ate so long as she could eat.
 
7     Mosquito larvae were plentiful, and they made quick meals. She was also willing to eat any other insect larvae including that of other dragonflies. If she could catch them, they were eaten. The Warpaint nymph didn't stop with other insects. She was also happy to eat tadpoles and small fish. The creed of the dragonfly was eat or be eaten.
 
8     The dragonfly nymph lived only in the water and breathed with the aid of gills. The world above the water was of little concern to her.

Paragraphs 9 to 18:
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Endangered Animals Theme Unit
             Endangered Animals Theme Unit


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