Waterfall Redspot Click to enlarge image
Waterfall Redspot - Austropetalia patricia (Tillyard, 1910) Image: John Tann
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    patricia
    Genus
    Austropetalia
    Family
    Austropetalliidae
    Super Family
    Aeshnoidea
    Suborder
    Epiproctophora
    Order
    Odonata
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    7-8 cm

Introduction

The Waterfall Redspot is one of the most beautiful Australian dragonflies.

Identification

The Waterfall Redspot has a reddish-brown head and body with small yellow markings and distinctive red-spotted wings. These spots, and the fact that it is usually seen near waterfalls in the spring, give this dragonfly its name.

The larvae are wide and flat, and have distinctive humps on their legs and square or rounded lumps on the side of the body.

When the Waterfall Redspot was discovered, it was considered to be identical with a species known only from South America. Even though it is now clear that the species is unique to Australia, its close relationship to some South American species demonstrates the dragonflies' early origins on the supercontinent Gondwana before it split into today's continents 200 million years ago.

Habitat

The Waterfall Redspot lives in splash zones of waterfalls, sphagnum swamps and small trickles in mountainous areas. They can live out of water in damp areas between rocks and on the ledges of waterfalls.

Distribution

The Waterfall Redspot is found in New South Wales, in the Blue Mountains, Watagan Mountains, possibly Barrington Tops and New England National Park, and occasionally in Sydney.