Wing Venation

Close up of dragonfly wingdragonflycicada

Veins in the wing provide support for the thin, delicate membranous cuticle that forms the wing itself. Many of the veins have tracheae (tubes that function in respiration) and provide a passage for haeomolymph which is essential for the functioning of the numerous sense organs found on the wings, including wind sensitive hairs. Wing venation is also an important morphological characteristic in taxonomy and can be used to identify many insect groups. Compare the dragonfly wings (photo 1 and 2) and the wings of a cicada (photo 3).

Photo of dragonfly and cicada courtesy of Keith Power, Toowoomba, Qld.