Damselflies: Austrolestes psyche

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

♂ Piccaninnie Ponds, SA

♀ Nelson, VIC

♂ Newnes, NSW
more
Common NameCup Ringtail
FamilyLestidae (ringtails)
Genus/SpeciesAustrolestes psyche (Hagen, 1862)
Abundance &
Distribution
Fairly common from northern New South Wales around to the South Australian border and in Tasmania. Found at most altitudes but uncommon in alpine regions.
HabitatFound mostly at swamps and vegetated dams but also at other still and sluggish water.
Description &
Identification
This is a small–medium damselfly with markings mostly black upper and blue (when mature) lower. The humeral stripe (the pale stripe along the "shoulder") is narrow, doesn't extend the entire length of the thorax and is isolated (no other pale marks are nearby). Tergum 2 (the second segment of the tail — the first long one) is dorsally all black along its length but the coloration is pinched in on the sides with pale/blue extending higher in the middle of the segment. In females the segment is also dorsally black but the color separation remains straight on the sides.
Behaviour &
Observations
These damselflies mostly perch and prefer to do so horizontally from vertical vegetation.
Similar SpeciesVery similar to Austrolestes minjerriba (which only occurs in northern NSW and southern Qld) and the Western Australian endemic Austrolestes aleison — I have only confidently encountered males of the former and never seen the latter. Females are very similar to the slightly larger Austrolestes annulosus and about the only way to separate them from a photo is the humeral stripe is thinner in A. psyche. Both sexes are similar to Austrolestes cingulatus, which has a similar humeral stripe, but tergum 2 for that species is pale at the front. The humeral stripe in other lestids is different.
LinksThere be Dragonflies

Page Updated: 23-Apr-2016
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