Dragonflies & DamselfliesDragonfly or Damselfly? Sex Lives and Dragonflies Damselflies Diplacodes haematodes Hemicordulia tau Orthetrum caledonicum Orthetrum migratum Orthetrum villosovittatum

The damselfly (suborder Zygoptera) are usually smaller then the dragonfly (suborder Anisoptera). They also differ to the dragonflies, in that the damselflies eyes are placed apart and when at rest their wings lay along the body. The dragonflies are usually larger and more powerful fliers to the damselflies, with large eyes that almost meet at the top of their heads and at rest their wings are spread out to the side from the body.

At the larval stages of the two suborders of damselfly and dragonfly, they can be distinguished by the placement of the gills. The damselfly larvae have gills at the end of the body as three appendages, whilst the dragonfly larvae suck water into their abdomen and move it over their internal gills.


Aurora Bluetail Damselfly (Ischnura aurora)

Mating Aurora Bluetail Damselfly (Ischnura aurora), Roma QLD © Dianne Bickers

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Odonata
  • Suborders: Zygoptera
  • Superfamily: Coenagrionoidea
  • Family: Coenagrionidae
  • Genus: Ischnura
  • Species: Ischnura aurora

Footnote & References

  1. Ischnura aurora (Brauer, 1865), Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/eba0227f-f618-41b7-b5f6-1e4041ae1d5c

Wandering Ringtail Damselflies (Austrolestes leda)


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Odonata
  • Suborders: Zygoptera
  • Superfamily: Lestoidea
  • Family: Lestidae
  • Genus: Austrolestes
  • Species: Austrolestes leda

Footnote & References

  1. Austrolestes leda (Selys, 1862), Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/b1cf9e51-2ece-4ee0-a048-1bf88187a362
Wandering Ringtail Damselflies (Austrolestes leda), Roma QLD © Dianne Bickers
Wandering Ringtail Damselflies (Austrolestes leda), Roma QLD © Dianne Bickers

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Odonata
  • Suborders: Zygoptera

Footnote & References

  1. Nature Photos from My Garden (Di Bickers), Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100086275255680
  2. Dragonflies and damselflies – Order Odonata, Australian Museum, https://australian.museum/learn/animals/insects/dragonflies-and-damselflies-order-odonata/

Dragonflies & DamselfliesDragonfly or Damselfly? Sex Lives and Dragonflies Damselflies Diplacodes haematodes Hemicordulia tau Orthetrum caledonicum Orthetrum migratum Orthetrum villosovittatum

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