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Coastal Evening Darner - Telephlebia tryoni


This page contains pictures and information about Coastal Evening Darners that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Male, body length 75mm
The Coastal Evening Darner dragonflies are brown in colour, with white strips on the thorax. The wings are clean with all front edges marked with brown bands. The pterostigmas are creamy white in colour.
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The Coastal Evening Darners are one of the crepuscular species. Unlike most other dragonflies active in sunny day, they are active during the period of evening twilight. During the day the dragonflies spend most of the time hanging vertically within plants. They fly a few meters away when disturbed. They fly slowly and not in the way you may expect from other dragonflies. They fly like a lacewing, slow and weak. They active at dusk till early night.
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On a early summer day in Yugarapul Park along Bulimba Creek, we were bush-walking and looking for insects to photo. We saw an insect flying away from us slowly with white pterostigmas on wings. We thought it was a lacewing. The insect rested vertically hanging on a small tree, with wings extended like a dragonfly. When we came closer, it flied to the other side of the creek and we could not follow. We thought it could be a dragonfly that we never saw before.
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Male                                                                     Female
A week later we came back to the same place and tried our luck if we could see the insect again. At first we only saw some Blue Eyes Lacewings. After hours of searching, we gave up. We started to believe the insect we saw a week before was just a common lacewing. When we were packing up and ready to go, we saw an insect flied pass and rest a few meters in front of us. We saw it clearly and it was a dragonfly. We saw the similar species on pictures before. We did not expect to see this dragonfly species there.
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We followed the dragonfly carefully and it leaded us to a place where could be their hiding place. There we saw quite a number of the dragonflies hiding, when we moved, some of them flied away from us. The place was tens of meters from the creek, and it was a boggy seepage. The place is covered by dense and very tall trees, and not much sun light. The dragonflies were hiding among the lower plants, half a meter above ground..
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The male Coastal Evening Darner look similar as the female except his angulated hindwings and his long anal appendages at the abdomen tips. He uses those anal appendages to hold the female when mating
The above left picture shows a male Coastal Evening Darner dragonfly get caught in a spider web.
The larvae are known living in semi-aquatic and terrestrial habitats. 

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We found on in Ford Road Conservation area on Jan 2009.

Reference and Link:
1.  The Australian Dragonflies - Watson, J.A.L., Theischinger, G., Abbey, H.M. 1991, CSIRO Publications, pp 195.
2.  Telephlebia tryoni - Australian Insect Common Names, CSIRO, 2005.
3. Telephlebia tryoni - Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment and Heritage2005.
4. A Field Guide to Dragonflies of South East Queensland - Ric Nattrass, 2006, p58.
5. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia - CSIRO, GŁnther Theischinger and John Hawking, 2006, p144.
6. Telephlebia cyclops - Deniss Reeves, Austrolestes-Newsletter of Australian Dragonfly Society, summer 2001. 
7. Australian Crepuscular Dragonflies - Deniss Reeves, Austrolestes-Newsletter of Australian Dragonfly Society, #8, 2003.  

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Last updated: February 11, 2009.