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 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies) | Libellulidae
 

Libellulidae

Major Group: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Libellulidae

Descriptive Features:

  • prementum ladle shaped, with 2 distinct groups of premental setae or setae of subequal or variable lengths
  • labial palps with palpal setae, their distal margin toothed or smooth, always set with setae
  • pronotum laterally not shelf-like
  • wing pads parallel
  • metasternum with transverse sulci fused along the long seam
  • abdomen variously shaped, often with segment 10 sunken into segment 9, sometimes sharply pointed
  • often some middorsal spines, commonly lateral spines on 1 or several segments
  • Total length: 8.0 - 28.0 mm
  • Taxonomic Checklist: Genera
    Aethriamanta
    Agrionoptera 
    Austrothemis
    Brachydiplax 
    Camacinia 
    Crocothemis 
    Diplacodes 
    Huonia 
    Hydrobasileus
    Lathrecista asiatica (Selys, 1879) (nymph unknown)
    Macrodiplax
    Nannodiplax 
    Nannophlebia 
    Nannophya
    Neurothemis
    Notolibellula bicolour Theischinger & Watson, 1977 (nymph unknown)
    Orthetrum
    Pantala
    Potamarcha 
    Raphismia bispina (Hagen, 1867) (nymph unknown)
    Rhodothemis 
    Rhyothemis
    Tetrathemis 
    Tholymis 
    Tramea 
    Urothemis 
    Zyxomma

    Distribution: Australia wide

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 1 to 4. Macrodiplax cora is salt tolerant.

    Functional Feeding Group: predators

    Ecology: Adults of Libellulidae are commonly known as 'skimmers or perchers' and adults of Urothemistidae as 'baskers'.
    Instream habitat: These larvae inhabit fast streams and rivers as well as a wide range of still or sluggish waters; including streams that dry to pools in the outback, riverine pools, lagoons, lakes, boggy seepages, swamps and permanent ponds. They are found amongst gravel, vegetation, detritus and mud. Orthetrum boumiera is confined to brown, acidic dune lakes with shallow littoral margins. Pantala flavescens is the world's most widely distributed dragonfly.
    Feeding ecology: Larvae are predators. Orthetrum species feed on other odonate species, sometimes larger than themselves.
    Habit:
    Life history: Females of some species lay their eggs in clutches on the underside of the overhanging vegetation upon which mating took place. When the larvae hatch they drop into the water below. Pantala flavescens larvae develop rapidly, which allows them to use temporary pools as breeding places. Huonia melvillensis exuviae have been found 1m above the current water level, and were all found clinging to dry moss-like vegetation.
     
     
    Information Sources: Theischinger & Endersby 2009, Hawking & Theischinger 1999, Houston 1988, Silsby 2001, Brown & Theischinger 2002, Theischinger & Hawking 2006
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