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


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Synthemistidae (formerly part of Corduliidae)

Descriptive Features:

  • frontal plate developed
  • prementum ladle-shaped with 2 distinct groups of setae (primary premental setae and secondary premental setae)
  • premental ligula without setae
  • labial palps with palpal setae and well developed distal dentations lacking setae
  • antennae 7 segmented
  • pronotum laterally shelf-like
  • wing-pads divergent
  • abdomen spinuliform, lacking middorsal and lateral spines, Tonyosynthemis offarelli has subdorsal spines
  • apex more or less sharply pointed
  • Total length: 15.5 - 28.0 mm
  • Taxonomic Checklist: Genera


    Distribution: Tas, S WA, SE SA, Vic, E NSW, Qld,  ACT

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 2. Archaeosynthemis leachii and Synthemis eustalacta can withstand desiccation. Parasynthemis regina is often associated with iron-rich clay substrata.

    Functional Feeding Group: predators

    Ecology: Adults are commonly known as 'tigertails or souther emeralds'.
    Instream habitat: Synthemistid larvae occur across a wide climatic range, including alpine, montane, rainforest and coastal areas. They generally inhabit sluggish streams that dry to pools, stagnant riverine pools, swamps, trickles, and boggy seepages, but also rapid rivers. Larvae are found amongst Sphagnum, gravel, cobble stone sections, mud or in fine sediments. They are often confined to vegetated margins or other sheltered positions where detritus has accumulated.
    Feeding ecology: Larvae are predators.
    Habit: Larvae of some species can withstand desiccation by burying themselves in sand or mud. Females of other species lay their eggs in mud and the eggs do not hatch until the water level is sufficient to provide suitable larval habitat.
    Life history: Adults of Eusynthemis ursula are collected from December to January. The life cycle is at least 2 years.
    Information Sources: Theischinger 2001, Hawking & Theischinger 1999, 2000, Silsby 2001, Theischinger & Hawking 2006, Sloane & Norris 2002
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