The Petaltail Dragonflies are considered to be the most primitive
dragonflies. There are fossils identified as this family from Jurassic Era, the
age of dinosaurs. There are about ten living species in this family. We have
five species in Australia, all in Petalura genera.
The NSW species Petalura
the West Australian species Petalura
the north Queensland species Petalura
the southeast Queensland species Petalura
the very rare species Petalura
Petaltails are very large in size. They have separated eyes like the Clubtails
family. Most of them are black or dark brown in colour. The pterostigmas
on their wings are very long. Their males have the
anal appendages enlarged like the petal, and this is why they are called.
Larva is semi-aquatic, mostly nocturnal, coming to the burrow entrance
to await their prey.
- Petalura litorea, body length
- The Coastal
Petaltail Dragonflies are vary large in size. Their eyes are well separated.
have the black thorax with yellow spots. Their abdomen are yellow with black
pattern. The pterostigma (darkened cell at the leading edge of each wing
near the tip) are very long compared to those of other dragonflies.
They are one of the very rare species and only found in Southeast
Queensland. More information and pictures please click on here.
- 1. The Australian Dragonflies - CSIRO, Watson, Theisinger & Abbey,1991,
- 2. A Field Guide to Dragonflies of South East Queensland - Ric
Nattrass, 2006, p59.
- 3. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia - CSIRO, GŁnther Theischinger and John Hawking, 2006,
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