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


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Family: Diphlebiidae
Genus: Diphlebia
This family is represented in Australia by a single genus, Diphlebia.

Descriptive Features:

  • head broad and flat
  • antennae 7-segmented
  • anterior basal margin of eye bordered by a narrow upturned shelf bearing a variable number of stout, curved spines and rough setae
  • labium large and flat, lacking premental setae
  • labial palps large, terminating with 4 hooks, movable hook large, slender and curved
  • legs long, femora flattened, with dorsal margin having rows of long fine hairs
  • abdomen relatively short and stout, dorsum of each segment with central tuft of long fine hairs
  • gills large, saccoid, roughly triangular with very rounded edges,nodate, with each gill terminating in a long, rapidly tapering tail 0.25-0.5X total length
  • Total length: 14.8 - 23.5 mm

    Diphlebia lestoides


    Diphlebia lestoides male

    Taxonomic Checklist: Species
    Diphlebia coerulescens Tillyard, 1913
    Diphlebia euphoeoides Tillyard, 1907
    Diphlebia hybridoides Tillyard, 1912
    Diphlebia lestoides (Selys, 1853)
    Diphlebia nymphoides Tillyard, 1912

    Distribution: E NSW, E Qld, E Vic

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 6

    Functional Feeding Group: predators


    Campaspe River, The Rocks Vic

    Ecology: Adults are commonly known as 'rockmasters'.
    Instream habitat: Diphlebia nymphs occur in streams and rivers, including rapid, slow and intermittently flowing waters. They are found on the underside of large rocks and cobbles amongst detritus generally along stream margins.
    Feeding ecology: Nymphs are predators.
    Life history: Females lay their eggs into the tissues of reeds and moss under water in November. The nymphal phase lasts for one year. Emergence usually begins in late September and continues until late October, but some Diphlebia individuals will emerge in November to early January.


    Information Sources: Hawking & Theischinger 1999, Houston 1988, Tillyard 1909a, Theischinger & Hawking 2006
    Key to Species: Theischinger & Endersby 2009
    Hawking & Theischinger 1999 (NSW)