Xanthocnemis zealandica - Red Damselfly

Last Modified: 20-2-2024 21:10

Male Xanthocnemis zealandica
Male Xanthocnemis zealandica
Red Damselfly at Taylor Dam
© Christopher Cookson  License this image

Xanthocnemis zealandica commonly known as red damselfly, is the commonest of New Zealand's six species of damselflies. Although known as red damselflies, in fact usually only the males of the species are red, with most females a brown colour with only around 16% of females having red colouration. Like all damselflies and their larger relatives, dragonflies, damselflies are predators, spending their larval stage in water feeding on aquatic prey, while adults will catch prey on the wing. Larvae are capable of surviving for many months between meals. Red damselflies can be found from sea level to alpine environments throughout New Zealand, and although the nymphs require water, the adults can be found a considerable distance from water sources.

This example was observed at the Taylor Dam.


Image Date: 14/12/2015

Photographer: Christopher Cookson

Location: Latitude: -41.57312 Longitude: 173.930099

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