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Damselflies & Dragonflies (Odonata)

Dragonflies (Anisoptera) and damselflies (Zygoptera) are closely related. Damsels are generally slighter and more delicate and only one dragonfly rests with wings shut, whereas many damsels rest wings shut (though many don't). The main difference is the space between the eyes. Damsels have wide apart eyes, between which you could fit a third eye the same size. There is not enough space between a dragon's eyes for this to be the case (even the most widely spaced among them.)

Damselfly Eastern Billabongfly

Damsel > COENAGRIONIDAE > Austroagrion watsoni (Eastern Billabongfly)
Small Damselfly with a bright blue tail light. The uppermost side of the thorax (behind the head) has two lime green stripes. This is the only... 


Damsel > COENAGRIONIDAE > Ceriagrion aeruginosum (Redtail)
These Damselflies have an orange red abdomen and yellow green thorax and head. They stay still, relying mostly on camouflage rather than swift,... 

Common Bluetail Ischnura heterosticta

Damsel > COENAGRIONIDAE > Ischnura heterosticta (Common Bluetail)
A very common Damselfly found everywhere all year round. Can be told apart from the Blue Riverdamsel which has overall more blue on the head and... 

Insect - Damselfly - Gold Fronted Riverdamsel Pseudagrion aureofrons

Damsel > COENAGRIONIDAE > Pseudagrion aureofrons (Gold Fronted Riverdamsel)
Male Pseudagrion aureofrons have an unmistakeable colour pattern, gold bordered by black on both the face and the thorax. The rest of the male's... 

Damselfly Flame headed riverdamsel

Damsel > COENAGRIONIDAE > Pseudagrion ignifer (Flame Headed Riverdamsel)
Pseudagrion ignifer is the only damsel whose male has a orange or flame-coloured face, as shown in this picture.  


Damsel > COENAGRIONIDAE > Pseudagrion microcephalum (Blue River Damsel)
Pseudagrion microcephalum is very common in ponds, lakes and drains. The male is bright blue with black bands. A similar species is the Common... 


Damsel > MEGAPODAGRIONIDAE > Austroargiolestes icteromelas (Common Flatwing)
Common Flatwing Austroargiolestes icteromelas sit with wings flat (occasional among damselflies) with a body length greater than 40mm, very common... 

Damselfly Orange Threadtail

Damsel > PROTONEURIDAE > Nososticta solida (Orange Threadtail)
A small Damselfly with a body length about 38mm, rests with wings closed, perches often, has a red, orange, or roange-yellow and black striped chest... 

Southern Whitetip

Damsel > SYNLESTIDAE > Episynlestes albicauda Southern Whitetip
A very large, slenderly built damsel. Males reach 60mm. Females are shorter with more bulbous tips on their relatively thicker abdomen. Southern... 

Hemicordulia australiae - Australian Emerald

Dragon > CORDULIIDAE > Hemicordulia australiae (Australian Emerald)
A medium-sized dragonfly with a black abdomen, pinched near the base and fringed with orange crescent-shaped marks, the tips of which curve inward. 

Insect - Dragonfly - Pale Hunter Austrogomphus amphiclitus

Dragon > GOMPHIDAE > Austrogomphus amphiclitus (Pale Hunter)
The Pale Hunter perches with the tail arched, usually on creekbank vegetation. (Nattrass 2006) It has a solid black wingmark, and can be separated... 


Dragon > GOMPHIDAE > Ictinogomphus australis (Australian Tiger)
The colours, large size and distinctive broad flaps on the underside of the 8th abdominal segment separate this from other species. Flies with... 

Insect > Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Orthetrum sabina Slender Skimmer

Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Brachydiplax denticauda (Pale Mouth) ?
Teneral Palemouths (newly emerged adults) can be quite variable in appearance, resembling gomphids and other dragonflies such as the Slender Skimmer. 

Wandering Percher

Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Diplacodes bipunctata (Wandering Percher)
The male Wandering Perchers have red eyes and face, thorax and abdomen with black markings. The wingtips have red panels.  


Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Diplacodes haematodes (Scarlet Percher)
The male Scarlet Percher has red eyes, face, thorax and abdomen and orange suffusions on the wing bases. There are no markings on the abdomen. 

Blue Skimmer

Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Orthetrum caledonicum (Blue Skimmer)
One of the most widespread and commonly seen dragonflies in South East Queensland. It brings its wings to rest with two or three forward jerks after... 

Slender Skimmer

Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Orthetrum sabina (Slender Sklmmer)
A teneral female Slender Skimmer. (Teneral means newly emerged, not full colour yet.) The full colour is gomphid like, green with black and cream... 


Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Orthetrum villosovittatum (Fiery Sklmmer)
One of the more common species in Brisbane Fiery Skimmers are often seen at rest and will come to rest quite near people if they sit still at the... 


Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Rhyothemis graphiptera (Graphic Flutterer)
Eyes reddish, body metallic green to black. Wings have an unmistakeable graphic pattern in purple/brown against a golden tinge.  

Common Glider

Dragon > LIBELLULIDAE > Trapezostigma loewii (Common Glider)
The male Common Glider has a red abdomen with a black tip. Their hind wing bases (saddlebags) are dark red. Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens Sunday, 18... 

Yellow Tipped Tigertail

Dragon > SYNTHEMISTIDAE > Choristhemis flavoterminata (Yellow Tipped Tigertail)
This dragonfly has a yellow tail tip somewhat like the tail lights in some damsels. Recognizable by its slender abdomen, and simple yellow and blacks...