Damselflies and Dragonflies of the Mount Alexander Region

Odonata is the order of insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies. The information and checklist presented on this page has been provided by Reiner Richter, co-author along with Ian Endersby, of “Dragonflies and Damselflies of Victoria and Tasmania”.

Damselflies (Zygoptera ) are generally smaller members of the Odonata. 

They can be distinguished by: Fold their wings when resting; Forewings and hindwings of similar size and shape; Eyes are nearly hemispherical and widely separated to the side of the head; Are generally weak fliers.

Red and Blue Damselfly, Xanthagrion erythroneurum
Tullaroop Reservoir.
Photo: Euan Moore

Dragonflies (Anisoptera ) are generally, but not always, larger members of this group. 

They can be distinguished by: Usually hold their wings open when resting; Fore and hind wings are generally dissimilar; Eyes are close together and may be joined at the top; Are generally strong fliers.

Unicorn Darner, Austroaeschna unicornis
Kalimna Park, Castlemaine. 
Photo: Euan Moore  


Checklist of Odonata Species of Inland Victoria

About half the Odonata species found in the state can be observed in the region. Below is a table listing the species Reiner has observed west of Melbourne, north from the Great Dividing Range to the Murray River. He has included abundance as the likelihood of encountering them at their preferred habitat in central and western Victoria and indicated by the letters:  c=common, m=moderately common, u=uncommon, r=rare.

Austroagrion watsoniEastern BillabongflymAdversaeschna brevistylaBlue-spotted Hawkerc
Austroargiolestes icteromelas*Common FlatwingmAustroaeschna atrata*Mountain Darneru
Austrolestes analisSlender RingtailcAustroaeschna ingrid*Grampians Darnerm
Austrolestes annulosusBlue RingtailmAustroaeschna multipunctata*Multi-spotted Darneru
Austrolestes aridusInland RingtailuAustroaeschna parvistigma*Swamp Darnerr
Austrolestes cingulatusMetalic RingtailrAustroaeschna pulchra*Forest Darneru
Austrolestes ioIota RingtailrAustroaeschna subapicalis*Conehead Darneru
Austrolestes ledaWandering RingtailcAustroaeschna unicornisUnicorn Darneru
Austrolestes psycheCup RingtailmAustrogomphus australisInland Hunterr
Austrocoenagrion lyelli*Swamp BluetrAustrogomphus cornutusUnicorn Hunterr
Ischnura auroraAurora BluetailcAustrogomphus gueriniYellow-striped Hunterc
Ischnura heterostictaCommon BluetailcAustrogomphus praeruptusTwinspot Hunterr
Nososticta solidaOrange ThreadtailuDiplacodes bipunctataWandering Percherc
Pseudagrion aureofronsGold-fronted RiverdamseluDiplacodes haematodesScarlet Percheru
Rhadinosticta simplexPowdered WiretailrDiplacodes melanopsisBlack-faced percherr
Synlestes weyersii*Bronze NeedlemEusynthemis brevistyla*Small Tigertailu
Xanthagrion erythroneurumRed and Blue DamselflymEusynthemis guttata*Southern Tigertailm
Hemianax papuensisAustralian Emperorc
Hemicordulia australiaeAustralian Emeraldu
Hemicordulia tauTau Emeraldc
Nannophya dalei*Eastern Pygmyflyr
Orthetrum caledonicumBlue Skimmerc
Procordulia jacksoniensis*Eastern Swamp Emeraldr
Synthemis eustalactaSwamp Tigertailm
Telephlebia brevicauda*Southern Evening Darnerm
Tramea loewiiCommon Gliderr
* Restricted to the Grampians area or forested, hilly locations with permanent streams.

A pdf copy of this list may be downloaded here.

Further reading:

Richter, R. & Endersby, I. 2019. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Victoria and Tasmania. Entomological Society of Victoria.

Theischinger, G. & Hawking, J. 2010. The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia. CSIRO Publishing