Dragonflies: Austroaeschna multipunctata

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

♂ Yarra Ranges, VIC

♀ Mt Buffalo, VIC

♂ Mt Buffalo, VIC

♂ Cobboboonee NP, VIC
Common Namemulti-spotted darner
Genus/SpeciesAustroaeschna (Austroaeschna) multipunctata (Martin, 1901)
Abundance &
Locally common in the hills between Melbourne and Wollongong and at low altitudes along Victoria's entire coastline. Note that the records for this species on ALA inland along the Murray River (Mildura & Kerang) are erroneous and the records from the Grampains are in fact Austroaeschna ingrid but recorded before that species was described. The records in northern NSW are also likely to be erroneous.
HabitatFound at running water, from trickles to creeks, in forests.
Description &
These are medium-sized, dark brown dragonflies with numerous small, pale yellow markings on the thorax and ordered along the abdomen (tail). Their eyes may be blue or brown. Like many similar forest darners, these tend to emerge relatively late in the season (from January onwards).
Similar SpeciesThere are numerous dragonflies similar in appearance to A. multipunctata. Austroaeschna parvistigma is quite similar but has pale across the front of the frons (see this photo). Austroaeschna flavomaculata is found only at high altitudes (usually above 1000m) and has more prominant pale markings on the body. Others in this group can be separated by locality (with limited overlapping in some cases). Austroaeschna ingrid is only found in the Grampians — I have looked for these nearby and have found A. multipunctata to be at Mt Buangor (about 50km east of the Grampians) and in Cobboboonee National Park (about 100km south-west). Austroaeschna obscura is found only around the mountain regions near Sydney but its southern range may overlap with A. multipunctata. A. obscura has slightly less significant pale markings on the abdomen. [Austroaeschna sigma then covers the next region northward from Newcastle.]
Behaviour &
Males will be active at breeding territories, even in quite cool conditions (around 15°C) patrolling up and down along creeks. At small streams individuals will patrol sections flying back and forth along several hundred metres of a section of the waterway, fairly close to the surface, periodically hovering briefly in one place to look at something in more detail. Females will deposit eggs into detritus along these waterways. This group of dragonflies prefers to perch vertically from vegetation or flat against the side of a tree trunk for sunning themselves.

Page Updated: 13-Jul-2016
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