Red & Blue Damselfly
S1&2, Laying eggs on nardoo, with sawfly
Teneral Female, profile
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Family:||Damselfly (Zygoptera: Coenagrionidae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Red & Blue Damselfly (Xanthagrion erythroneurum)|
|This Photo:||S3 & S4, Depositing eggs under nardoo|
|Other name:||Red and Blue Damselfly|
Thank you Reiner Richter for identifying and Graham Winterflood for confirming the id of this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), Coastal Areas and elsewhere
~29 to ~32mm long.
The intensity of red with these varies dramatically. Adults that have emerged for some time go a deep fire engine red. Most of those we've seen though have been young, "teneral"; not yet reach their full colours. Tenerals are an off white / buff Damselfly with red / orange & blue highlights with light red / orange legs. Full coloured adults have red bodies.
Finely hairy body & head.
The tail has evenly distributed black bars on top, with blue rings at the segment joins. It is off white / buff underneath.
Each wing tip has an opaque section, with edges & veins being finely serated.
The 1st specimen we caught was was trapped behind flyscreen, so we grabbed a glass & plastic cutting board and caught it. Took these photos and then let it go.
You can see it's in poor condition, with over 7 ticks, damaged eye and missing part of it's wing tip.
Graham said "Males have rings on segments 8 & 9". This is important when separating teneral males from females (which are often not red in our experience)
There's a very similar, but less observed, damselfly in SA, Orange Threadtail (Nososticta solida). Reiner said "Male Xanthagrion erythroneurum shouldn't be an issue as they have a pale start to the tail and the last two segments are half pale.
1. Nososticta solida are always orange (never red) but will be quite pale when newly emerged.
2.Xanthagrion erythroneurum has a pale bar across behind the eyes while Nososticta solida has a pair of pale spots that may get darker and indistinguishable with age or on males (?).
3. Xanthagrion erythroneurum has paler face with some uneven black markings while Nososticta solida has a black face with a prominent rectangular pale bar, but not always."
Similar Species: Eastern Billabongfly (Austroagrion watsoni)