Damselflies: Xanthagrion erythroneurum

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

matue male, Cranbourne, VIC

teneral male, Moorabool, VIC

Cranbourne, TAS
more
Common Namered & blue damsel
FamilyCoenagrionidae
Genus/SpeciesXanthagrion erythroneurum (Selys, 1876)
Abundance &
Distribution
Common and found through much of Australia but uncommon in Tasmania and rare in the wet tropics.
HabitatInhabits ponds, dams and lakes preferably with open water or slow sections of rivers.
Description &
Identification
This is a small–medium sized damselfly with mature males having a mostly red head and thorax (with some black) and a mostly black abdomen (tail) excepting two segments near its end being partially blue. Mature females tend not to become quite as red and females do not have the partially pale segments at the end of their tail.
Similar SpeciesThe color of mature individuals makes these unmistakable however tenerals (those without mature coloration) can be harder to identify. One diagnostic feature is they have a pale line crossing behind the eyes, which limits if to only a few species of Austroagrion and possibly Pseudagrion. Austroagrion are considerably smaller but otherwise have superficially similar patterning (the lower horizontal black section on the side of the thorax is thinner for X. erythroneurum). Pseudagrion are about the same size as Xanthagrion but their patterning is usually different enough to distinguish. For example, female Pseudagrion ignifer are quite similar to female X. erythroneurum but P. ignifer has dots behind the eyes (rather than a line).
Behaviour &
Observations
Xanthagrion erythroneurum seems to prefer large bodies of water where the males perch on vegetative material along the edge or protruding from the water surface. They tend to perch horizontally close to the surface of that water, a situation I have tried to capture in my photography.
LinksBrisbane Insects
Esperance Fauna
Insects of Tasmania

Page Updated: 1-Apr-2016
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