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Fat-bellied Emerald - Hemicordulia continentalis

FAMILY HEMICORDULIIDAE

This page contains pictures and information about Fat-bellied Emerald Dragonflies that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia. They are also known as Clubbed Emeralds and Broad-tailed Emeralds.

Male, Body length 40mm. 

The Fat-bellied Emerald Dragonflies are medium in size, body length about 50mm. When we took those pictures, we through they were Australian Emerald, another Emerald dragonfly species which is common in Brisbane. Both species can be found in the same habitat. Because both of them are seldom rest, it is difficult to distinguish between them. 

Fat-bellied Emeralds are long and slender, with black pattern on yellow colour. The black patterns are shiny blue green under the sun. Their eyes and mouth occupy almost all their head with bright green in colour. Fat-bellied Emeralds can be distinguished from other Emerald dragonfly species by the male's strongly club-shaped abdomen.

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Female                                                                  Male 
 
The above two pictures show a female and a male, which they were mating and just separated before we took those pictures. They are found need Bulimba Creek in Macgregor Park.
 
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Pictures show the close-up on the dragonfly's head. The pictures were taken in late afternoon when the dragonfly became not so active. We moved very carefully to the insects and get close enough to take those photos.
 
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Fat-bellied Emerald is not common as Australian Emerald. In late summer 2005 we found a few of them, male, flying over Bulimba Creek in Yugarapul Park. Their flying patterns look similar to the Australian Emerald, with slightly shorter body length.
 
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The above male photos were taken on Nov 2007 in Sunny Bank along Bulimba Creek. 
 
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The above female photos were taken on Feb 2008 in Karawatha Forest, not too far away from a creek.
 

 
This dragonfly was considered as "uncommon" in Ric Nattrass's Field Guide. We did not remember seeing this dragonflies very often. However, in 2007-2008, we saw them almost every creek that we visited, and there were quite a number of them. They like to hover at our eye level so we easily took the following photos.
 
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Reference:
1. The Australian Dragonflies - CSIRO, Watson, Theisinger & Abbey,1991, p218.
2. A Field Guide to Dragonflies of South East Queensland - Ric Nattrass, 2006, p77.
3. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia - CSIRO, GŁnther Theischinger and John Hawking, 2006, p246.

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Last updated: April 24, 2010.