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Orange Threadtail Damselfly - Nososticta solida  

FAMILY PROTONEURIDAE

This page contains information and pictures about Orange Threadtail Damselflies that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia. They are also known as Ochre Threadtail Damselflies.
 
Male, body length 35mm
Orange Threadtails are common in Brisbane waters. They can be found near semi-shaded running water. They usually rest in group on the plants at water edges. They can be seen even in winter time. The pictures in this web page are mostly taken at Wishart and Eight Mile Plains along Bulimba Creek.
 
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When Ochre Threadtail Damselflies are at rest, they held their wings closely folded up vertically over their thorax. Their flying skill is very good. They can fly backwards and sideways. They hover most of the time.
 
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Male 
 
The male Orange Threadtail damselflies have the orange- yellow thorax with black patterns. The abdomen is narrow, black in colour with yellow strips. There is the brown yellow colour at the base of their wings.
 
 
Female 
Females are same in size with pale brown in colour. They have the same black patterns.
 

Tandem and Wheel

Their mating behaviour is quite different from other insects, but more or less the same for all dragonflies and damselflies. The male damselflies and dragonflies have two sets of genitalia. One at the abdomen tip as all the other insects. The other is known as secondary genitalia, at the underside of the second abdomen segment. Before mating, the male will transfers his sperm from his tip to the secondary genitalia.
 
 
Male and female Ochre Threadtail Damselflies in tandem and wheel position.
 
The male usually defines his own territory, protects it by driving away the same species male. When a female come into his territory, the male will grasp her 'neck' with his anal appendages to form the tandem position. They may fly together in tandem position for sometime.  
Eventually they will land on a plant or some other suitable location. The female then will bend her abdomen tip to reach the male's secondary genitalia to form the wheel position. In the male's secondary genitalia, there is his sperm in which he had transferred from his abdomen apex on earlier time. Then the sperm transfer takes place. The wheel position will usually take 5 to 15 minutes.    
 
Then the female will return to the water and lay her eggs, usually with the male still in tandem position. 
 
Damselflies lay their eggs in the plants under the surface of water. Female damselflies have their blade-like ovipositor for making an opening in the plant for her eggs. She lay her eggs alone or sometime still in tandem with the male. More about their mating behaviour can be find on this page.  
 
Wings of Ochre Threadtail Damselfly 

Reference:
1. The Australian Dragonflies - CSIRO, Watson, Theisinger & Abbey,1991, p146.
2. A Field Guide to Dragonflies of South East Queensland - Ric Nattrass, 2006, p27.
3. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia - CSIRO, GŁnther Theischinger and John Hawking, 2006, p60.

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Last updated: November 26, 2007.