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Damselflies

Agriocnemis pygmaea
Argiocnemis rubescens
Austroagrion cyane
Austroagrion watsoni
Austroargiolestes calcaris
Austroargiolestes icteromelas
Austrocnemis splendida
Austrolestes analis
Austrolestes annulosus
Austrolestes aridus
Austrolestes cingulatus
Austrolestes io
Austrolestes leda
Austrolestes psyche
Coenagrion lyelli
Diphlebia lestoides
Diphlebia nymphoides
Griseargiolestes intermedius
Ischnura aurora
Ischnura heterosticta
Hemiphlebia mirabilis
Nososticta solida
Pseudagrion aureofrons
Pseudagrion ignifer
Pseudagrion microcephalum
Rhadinosticta simplex
Synlestes weyersii
Xanthagrion erythroneurum


Whitewater Rockmaster

Diphlebia lestoides

Diphlebia lestoides Distribution Male Diphlebia lestoides Feeding Male Diphlebia lestoides Feeding
Image: 768×480, 60KB
Date & Time: 11 December 2005 10:50
Place: Yarra Ranges National Park, McMahons Creek

Female in Obelisk Position Female in Obelisk Position
Image: 640×576, 60KB
Date & Time: 11 December 2005 11:20
Place: Yarra Ranges National Park, McMahons Creek

Damselfly Depositing Eggs Under Water Damselfly Depositing Eggs Under Water
Image: 560×416, 38KB
Date & Time: 7 December 2006 15:50
Place: Yarra Ranges National Park, McMahons Creek

Male Blue Damselflies Jousting Male Blue Damselflies Jousting
Image: 480×360, 31KB
Date & Time: 7 December 2006 15:25
Place: Yarra Ranges National Park, McMahons Creek

These are large, swiftly flying damselflies. Males are bright blue with some black markings and some have white bands towards the outer length of the wings. Mature females are green-blue or olive on the upper thorax with black lines and the tail is pale blue above and has some orange along the sides. The front of immature males looks more like that of the female (less blue). It is uncertain what determines the white bands on some males, it is probably not related to maturity as there is unlikely to be a mechanism for the wing pigment to change (from clear to white).

They can be seen on the wing from late spring through summer. As their common name might suggest, they prefer swiftly flowing water, such as in rocky rivers, mainly in foothills to sub-alpine areas. If you're near Melbourne, good areas to observe them are along the river from Warburton to the Upper Yarra Reservoir.

Diphlebia nymphoides is the only similar species in Victoria (also occurs in NSW and southern Queensland) but the side of its thorax is entirely blue and it has a black face. Another blue damselfly is Diphlebia coerulescens, occurs from northern New South Wales and Queensland. The mature males of this species have darkened wings and also has a dark face. Both these other species also have significant black markings on top of the tail (abdomen).

These are my favourite damselflies because of their bright colors and they are quite active compared to other species. I have spent a bit of time with them and following are some observations I have made.

Males will have territories, typically perching on a rock protruding from the river. If another male nears, it will be chased off or a "face-off" joust will occur for a few seconds (as shown in the last photo above). If a female nears and mating occurs the male will release her and guard her from the air. She will deposit eggs on submerged vegetation and wood, to the point of completely submerging herself.

Page Updated: 4-Jan-2008
© copyright 2019, Reiner Richter.
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