Little Desert

7 February 2016

The final destination for this arc along the Murray was to check out the Wimmera River at Dimboola. A couple of interesting damselflies had been recorded here but I didn't think much of the river so never visited during peak insect season. I'm glad I did because I extended the range for a few species.

First off I saw numerous Austrogomphus australis. This is their furthest south-west and complements a record from near Kiata in 1945. It is not a very common species but this season there have been interesting records, including some from Canberra by Harvey Perkins and Bendigo by Michael Barkla.

Then I found a patch where the Pseudagrion aureofrons were swarming. This damselfly is rare south of the Murray River and this record is a range extension of around 200km into western Victoria. Females deposit eggs into vegetation under water, which can take more than 10 minutes. I took this video and waited around 12 minutes but did not see her emerge within that time.

The third interesting species was Rhadinosticta simplex, a slender damselfly that like to perch amongst shrubs near the edge of rivers. Previously the closest records were along the Yarra River near Melbourne and the Murray River, so this is another 200km range extension. I saw two females and one newly emerged male.