Dear Ask A Biologist,

As you probably know, dragonfly larvae are well known for having protrusible, prehensile mouthparts that can be used to grab prey. However, I was wondering what happens to these mouth parts when the dragonfly matures from a nymph into a flying adult? One never hears about the same kind of mouthparts being in mature dragonflies, yet it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would be easily lost in a hemimetabolous insect. I found a few sources that seemed to suggest that even the adults maintain some vestige of their hydraulically powered jaw, but I was not sure how accurate this is.

sorry no-one seems to know the answer to your question.