Australian Emerald Dragonfly


Australian Emerald Dragonfly (Hemicordulia australiae)

The Australian Emerald Dragonfly, also known as the Sentry Dragonfly, is a widespread native Australian species. They can be found near flowing creeks, streams, rivers as well as still waters such as lakes and permanent ponds. The male of the species patrol a set area hovering persistently at one or two special spots within the defended area. They are a strong flier and spend most of the day flying. Dragonflies are primitive insects, belonging to the order Odonata — a name which refers to the large mandibles of larva and adult. They grow to a length of 69mm, with eyes a brilliant emerald green, thorax and abdomen black and yellow with noticeable metallic sheen.

Adults are predators and hunt live prey such as midges and moths, generally capturing them in flight. The extra-limital distribution of the Australian Emerald Dragonfly includes Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island and New Zealand. Dragonflies are hemimetabolous, which means they undergo gradual larval development, with the wings forming during the larval stage. They have three development stages, of which the egg and larva stage are aquatic and the adult is terrestrial. The adults diet consists of  flying insects such as midges and mosquitoes. Larva: most other macroinvertebrates such as shrimp and nymphs.

The Australian Emerald Dragonfly is diurnal and generally flies all day and rests all night.

Original metalpoint drawing by ARC Living Master Gordon Hanley

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