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Common Bluetail Damselfly - Ischnura heterosticta 

FAMILY COENAGRIONIDAE

This page contains information and pictures about Common Bluetail Damselflies that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
 
Male, body length 34mm
 
Common Bluetail Damselflies are one of the most common damselflies found in Brisbane waters. They prefer slow-running or still waters. For the male, the head and thorax are black and blue, the abdomen is black in colour. There is the blue tip at the end of abdomen. 
 

Female

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Female, body length 34mm
 
The female are the same size, with pale blue to grayish-green in colour. They usually rest on the plants either in the middle of ponds or at the water edges.
 
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Because the females are in dull colours, when they rest on plants, they are hardly be seen. 
 
The pictures in this page are mostly taken at Wishart along Bulimba Creek. The damselfly can be seen even in winter in Brisbane, in a sunny day.
 

Male

 
 
The male damselfly is brightly blue  in colour with black abdomen. Notice the thick black strip on its thorax back and the blue dots on the top of its eyes.
 
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Quite a number of species of damselflies found in Brisbane are in blue colour and look similar. Our Australian Dragonfly Society President, Deniss Reeves, advised that we can tell it is a Common Bluetail Damselfly by less blue on its eyes, and with more back on its back. The other blue damselfly species, the Blue Riverdamsel has more blue on its back and the Eastern Billabongfly is smaller in size.
 
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Non-mature Male

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We found this damselflies become active in late winter, September in Brisbane. 
 
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When Common Bluetail Damselflies are at rest, they held their wings closely folded up vertically over their thorax.
 

Mating

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Common Bluetail Damselflies mating in wheel position. Most details about damselfly reproduction please check this page.
 

Wings

Wings of Common Bluetail Damselfly 

Reference:
1. The Australian Dragonflies - CSIRO, Watson, Theisinger & Abbey,1991, p132.
2. A Field Guide to Dragonflies of South East Queensland - Ric Nattrass, 2006, p36.
3. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia - CSIRO, GŁnther Theischinger and John Hawking, 2006, p96.

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Last updated: February 28, 2008.