Damselflies: Austrolestes aridus

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

♂ Wyperfeld, VIC

♂ Grampians, VIC

♀ Wyperfeld, VIC
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Common Nameinland ringtail
FamilyLestidae
Genus/SpeciesAustrolestes aridus (Tillyard, 1908)
Abundance &
Distribution
Widespread through inland Australia south of the tropics reaching as far south as Perth in the west, Stawell in Victoria and Wollongong in NSW. The species has been recorded near the coast of NSW between Sydney and Newcastle.
HabitatInhabits a wide range of still water including temporary ponds. After recent fires in the Grampians I found it along numerous trickles and dams relatively early in the season — records on ALA show a peak from September to November.
Description &
Identification
These are small–medium sized damselflies that have black and bright blue markings. The females have more black at the end of the abdomen and are generally a paler blue.
Similar SpeciesVery similar to Austrolestes analis but A. aridus has a larger, more triangular shape to the rear of the thorax (under the humeral stripe) and, unlike A. analis, both the last two abdominal segments are predominantly pale above. Of the two, A. aridus also tends to be more robust. No other Austrolestes species (ringtails) have the pale, hooked shape below the humeral stripe.
Behaviour &
Observations
Males mostly perch on vegetation off the ground around water, including on dead twigs. Females tend not to be observed as commonly around breeding sites. They must readily disperse over a wide area because often the places I have seen them at (like the Wyperfeld dam) are dry in subsequent seasons.

Page Updated: 1-Apr-2016
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