Created 3-May-14
Modified 29-Nov-16
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Austrolestes colensonis

NZ Blue Damselfly

New Zealand Status: Endemic
Conservation Status: Not Threatened

Austrolestes colensonis is the largest of the damselflies found in New Zealand with a length 40mm to 47mm. It has a black abdomen with narrow bright blue hoops, and a bright blue patch on the last segment. The tail is slightly clubbed in the male and more so in the female. Its bright blue colour is darker, more of a dull purple shade, when the animal is cold but this changes as the animal warms up. Females and immature males may have a more greenish bronze sheen which, in males, disappears as they mature. The legs are black with a pale fawn stripe down the lower half and have spines.

This species emerges between October and February, with most adults emerging in a burst during January but they can be found as late as May in Dunedin or later in Northland.

Austrolestes colensonis is usually seen close to still or slow moving water among rushes and reeds. The immature nymphs live in the water.
Austrolestes colensonis, NZ Blue DamselflyAustrolestes colensonis, NZ Blue Damselfly