Dragonflies: Anax papuensis

Damselflies Austroagrion cyane Austroagrion watsoni Austroargiolestes calcaris Austrocnemis splendida Austrolestes annulosus Austrolestes aridus Austrolestes cingulatus Austrolestes io Austrolestes leda Austrolestes psyche Coenagrion lyelli Hemiphlebia mirabilis Ischnura aurora Ischnura heterosticta Pseudagrion microcephalum Xanthagrion erythroneurum Dragonflies Anax papuensis Archaeosynthemis orientalis Austroaeschna ingrid Austroaeschna multipunctata Austroaeschna unicornis Austrogomphus guerini Austropetalia tonyana Austrothemis nigrescens Crocothemis nigrifrons Dendroaeschna conspersa Diplacodes bipunctata Diplacodes haematodes Diplacodes melanopsis Diplacodes trivialis Eusynthemis virgula Hemicordulia australiae Hemicordulia tau Notoaeschna sagittata Orthetrum caledonicum Parasynthemis regina Petalura gigantea Procordulia jacksoniensis Synthemis eustalacta Telephlebia brevicauda
distribution map
Source: ALA

♀ Wehla, VIC

Gippsland, VIC

Mount Buffalo, VIC

Mount Buffalo, VIC
Common NameAustralian Emperor
FamilyAeschnidae (hawkers)
Genus/SpeciesAnax papuensis (Burmeister, 1839)
SynonymThis species was called Hemianax papuensis in the Thieschinger & Hawking Field Guide (2006).
Abundance &
Common throughout Australia, including Tasmania, and also occurs from Java to New Zealand.
HabitatFound mostly at lakes and ponds but at all altitudes.
Description &
This is a large dragonfly with males and females similar in appearance, predominantly yellow with longitudinal and transverse black markings on the abdomen. Eyes are yellowish to pale brownish and there is a distinctive black marking on the frons (nose) but only indistinct blotches on the thorax.
Behaviour &
Although often on the wing, these dragonflies perch hanging from vegetation. On warm days and early evenings they can be observed hunting over open ground, including above country highways, generally flying at about 2m elevation and in constant motion. They oviposit while in tandem, the female depositing eggs into aquatic vegetation.
Similar SpeciesSomewhat similar in appearance to the tropical green emperors Anax gibbosulus and Anax guttatus, which however have darker tails.
The dark shape on the frons is similar to that of Hemicordulia tau, with which it has been mistaken for based on this feature alone.
LinksThere be Dragonflies

Page Updated: 23-Apr-2016
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