It’s Spring!

by Chris Burwell, Senior Curator of Insects, Queensland Museum

Spring is here and so are the dragonflies and damselflies.

After laying low over the cooler winter months, many insects are already starting to appear as the weather starts to warm up and Spring approaches.

A few species of dragonflies and damselflies have already started to appear. Most spend the winter as aquatic nymphs living in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. When they are ready to emerge, the nymphs leave the water by climbing up emergent plants and sticks where they undergo a remarkable transformation into adults.

At first, the adults are soft and pale-coloured but as their exoskeletons harden, they gradually acquire their bright colours.

Image credit: Dr Chris Burwell

This female Australian Emerald dragonfly, Hemicordulia australiae, has emerged very recently and its colours are not fully developed. Until they harden, the shimmering wings are soft and easily damaged.

Image credit: Dr Chris Burwell

A mature Australian Emerald female with fully developed colouration.

Image credit: Dr Chris Burwell

A female Common Glider dragonfly, Tramea loewii.

Image credit: Dr Chris Burwell

A male Australian Bluetail damselfly, Ischnura heterosticta..

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