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Family COENAGRIONIDAE - Pond Damselflies

This page contains information and pictures about Pond Damselflies in family Coenagrionidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
 
Larvae 
 
Damselfly species in Coenagrionidae are the most abundant in Brisbane area. Adults are medium to small in size. They are usually with black pattern, the ground colour may be green, blue, yellow, orange, or purple. Their wings are narrow, usually colourless and clear.  Some species are two female colour forms, i.e., one of which is similar to the male while the other is very different. 
 
They prefer to lay eggs in pond, slow or fast running waters with dense vegetations. They rest with the body horizontal and the wings pressed together above the abdomen. The adult is a predator in the sky and preying on small flying insects such as mosquitoes.
 
 
Larva  20mm
 
The larva is a predator in water preying on small animals such as mosquitoes larva. The larva uses its tail, the three leaf, to breath in water. Just before the last molting, the larva climb up from the water and emerge from the last  molting skin and turns into an adult. 
 
In this family, we found quite a number of different species in Brisbane. They are slender, with small to medium body size. The smallest damselflies are also found in this family.
 

Riverdamsel - genus Pseudagrion 

Damselflies in this genus are medium to large in size. 
 
Gold-fronted Riverdamsel
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Pseudagrion aureofrons, male, body length 36mm
Gold-fronted Riverdamsels can be found on slow running water or still water. Males can be easily recognized by their golden-yellow faces. Their lower part of thorax are blue, with black colour in between. Their abdomen are black, with blue ring at tail. females are dull greenish grey in colour. More information please click on here.
 
 
Blue Riverdamsel
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Pseudagrion microcephalum, male, female, body length 38mm
The male damselfly is brightly blue in colour with black pattern on abdomen. Its blue head, its face and eyes are blue too. The female damselfly has the pale blue-grey abdomen and yellowish-green thorax and eyes. We took those pictures at Wishart along Bulimba Creek. For more detail see our Blue Riverdamsel page.
 
 
Flame-headed Riverdamsel
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Pseudagrion ignifer, male, female, body length 46mm
This is a large Damselfly. Males are easily recognized by their orange-yellow faces. The second picture shows the female Flame-headed Riverdamsel, she is enjoying a meal. More information please click here.
 

 
Redtail, Big Red Damselfly
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Ceriagrion aeruginosum, body length 40mm 
The Redtail Damselflies are beautiful with orange-red abdomen, yellow-green thorax and yellow-green head. Although they are bright in colour, they are not easily be seen. They usually hiding among the thick grass near the waters. We occasionally find them along Moolabin Creek in Brisbane. More information please click here
 
 
Red and Blue Damselfly
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Xanthagrion erythroneurum, body length 40mm
The Red and Blue Damselflies are with bright red face and thorax. Their abdomen is pale colour, with blue marking at tail. Red and Blue Damselfly larvae live in still water. We found the Red and Blue Damselflies along the water edge near the lake inside Minnippi Park, Tingalpa, where is the end of Bulimba Creek, about to meet the Brisbane River.
 
 
Eastern Billabongfly, Eastern Dart
 
Austroagrion watsoni , male, male and female, body length 25mm
Eastern Billabongflies are small damselflies. They can be found near slow running water or still water. They usually rest on the plants either in the middle of ponds or at the water edges. More information please click here.
 

 
Aurora Bluetail Damselfly
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Ischnura aurora, male, female, body length 23mm
Aurora Bluetail Damselflies are tiny damselflies. Males are beautifully have the colour of the rainbow. The head and thorax are from green to yellow, the abdomen is from yellow to orange to red. There is the bright blue at the tip. The back of the thorax is black. The females are pale grey in colour. Click here for more information. 
 
 
Common Bluetail Damselfly
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Ischnura heterosticta, male, female, body length 34mm
Common Bluetail Damselflies are one of the most common damselflies found in Brisbane waters. They can easily be found near running water or still water, however, they are easily mistaken as Blue Riverdamsel. Common Bluetail Damselflies are smaller, with more black than blue on their back. There is the blue tip at the end of abdomen. They usually rest on the plants either in the middle of ponds or at the water edges. More information please click here.
 

 
Red-tipped Shadefly
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Argiocnemis rubescens, male, immature male, body length 35mm 
We found this damselfly once in the Lagoon in Karawatha Forest Feb 2008. We sometimes confused this damselfly with the Red-rumped Wisp. They looked almost the same. To find out the details please check this page.
 

 
Pygmy Wisp, Midget Wisp
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Agriocnemis pygmaea, male body length 20mm, female 25mm
The Midget Whisp is the smallest damselflies we had ever found. The head and thorax is pale green in colour with black pattern. Abdomen is pale red with black with the red tail light. More information on Pygmy Wisp page. 
 
Red-rumped Wisp
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Agriocnemis rubricauda, male, body length 30mm
The damselfly has the very bright orange-red tail. Its body is pale green and black in colour. We only saw this damselfly once along Bulimba Creek in Yugarapul Park. We took the photos late in the evening, while the sunlight was about to ease. The damselfly's tail of bright orange spot was outstanding from the dark surroundings. More pictures and information please visit this page.
 
 

Reference:
1. The Australian Dragonflies - CSIRO, Watson, Theisinger & Abbey,1991, p120.
2. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia - CSIRO, GŁnther Theischinger and John Hawking, 2006, p82. 

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Last updated: May 26, 2013.