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Common Glider Dragonfly - Tramea loewii (Trapezostigma loewii) 

FAMILY LIBELLULIDAE

This page contains information and pictures of Common Glider Dragonflies that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.  
 
  
 
This dragonfly is large in size. Common Glider Dragonflies can be found on pond or very slow running large area waters. Its abdomen is short and narrow. Its wings are relatively narrow too but very long.
 
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Female

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Female, body length 50mm
 
Female Common Gliders are dull brown in colour, with dark brown abdomen tip. There are the brown patterns on hind-wings base. The patterns are slightly different than the males.
 
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We noticed on some Common Glider females we found there were many tiny little brown balls attached under the body, as shown in the above photos. We are not sure what are they. Could it be some kinds of parasite? Please advise if you know what are they. 
 

Male

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Male, body length 50mm 
 
The male Common Gliders have red abdomen with black tip. Its hind wing bases are dark red in colour while the rest of its wings are clean, slightly tinted with red.
 
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Males show very strong territory behaviour. The male usually glide within a favorite spot. If the same species male come near, they will drive them away. On day time they usually gliding slowly or chasing each others rapidly. 
 
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They spend half of the time flying and half of them time resting. Near evening, those dragonflies will rest on tree top near the water. They prefer to stay on twigs two meters above ground. 
 

Egg-laying

We noticed that the egg-laying habit of this Common Glider Dragonfly is a bit different from other dragonfly species. So far we observed dragonflies have three different egg-laying habits.
 
1. Female lays eggs alone, such as the Blue Skimmer,
2. Female lay eggs guarded by a male, such as the Fiery Skimmer,  
3. Female lay eggs with male in tandem, such as the Water Prince.
 
We have detail discussions about dragonflies reproduction in this page.
 
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We noticed the Common Glider Dragonfly egg-laying habit is half-way between point 2 and point 3. After mating, the male and female fly in tandem. When the couple fly over a suitable egg-laying site, they separate and the male changes the tandem position to holding the female as show in the above photos. Then the female dip its abdomen tip into the water surface and lays eggs. Then the couple resume the tandem position and looking for another egg-laying site. the whole process takes less than a second.   

Reference:
1. The Australian Dragonflies - CSIRO, Watson, Theisinger & Abbey,1991, p246.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, plate 4. 
3. A Field Guide to Dragonflies of South East Queensland - Ric Nattrass, 2006, p107.
4. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia - CSIRO, GŁnther Theischinger and John Hawking, 2006, p296. 

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Up ] Common Archtail ] Black-headed Skimmer ] Blue Skimmer ] Fiery Skimmer ] Slender Skimmer ] Palemouth Shorttail ] Scarlet Percher ] Wandering Percher ] Black Faced Percher ] Red Arrow ] Red Swamp Dragon ] Graphic Flutterer ] Yellow-striped Flutterer ] Red Baron ] Short-tailed Duskdarter ] Water Prince ] [ Common Glider ]

                                                

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Last updated: April 02, 2011.