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Yes - I'm found all over England and Wales, from Lands End to Leeds, with even a few outposts in chilly Scotland (https://spatial.nbnatlas.org/?q=lsid%3ANBNSYS0000005630)
Not known - another species in the genus (Anax junius) has a genome size estimated at 1.44pg, equivalent to ~1.4 Gbp (half the size of the human genome!)
According to TimeTree (http://www.timetree.org/) humans and dragonflies shared a common ancestor 794 MILLION YEARS AGO!
I should be sequenced because...: Dragonflies are evolutionarily long lived and wildly successful predators, with a really big genome (for an insect!).
Dragonflies have been around for nearly 800 million years and have outlived many other groups of organisms, including the dinosuars. In this time we have not changed much, perhaps because we are so good at what we do – as aerial insect predators there is very little to touch us – you can think of us as the (tiny) Great White Sharks of the skies!
Dragonflies like me (the Emperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator) are the top of the tree in terms of size, speed and ferocity – we evolved in Africa millions of years ago but have been steadily moving northwards, conquering the planet… or maybe its just getting warmer due to climate change and that means there is more food, for longer…. Which ever it is, as the lion of the skies, I go where the food is – I’ve even been seen as far North as Inverness (https://spatial.nbnatlas.org/?q=lsid%3ANBNSYS0000005630).
Although you will only see me tearing up the skies over rivers and ponds in the UK summer, I spend the rest of the year being equally ferocious under water as a “nymph”. Don’t let the cute name fool you – this form is not as beautiful as my flying one, but is equally fierce, grabbing prey much bigger than myself with an amazing extending jaw-with-claws. Blink and you’ll miss it… or at least that is what the unfortunate tadpoles think!
You can learn lots more about me at: https://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/emperor-dragonfly