General Description

Adult abdomen pale brown to yellow with darker brown mottling. The larva is very elongate and has a smooth body up to a total length of 4.5-5 cm. Adult body length of 6-7 cm, wingspan can be up to 10 cm.


Larvae are active predators that feed on small invertebrates. The larval life span is probably about 10-12 months, but could be longer if water temperatures are low. The adults are strong flyers and are active hunters feeding on other flying insects. They may survive for one to two months. The adults appear to show little territoriality and can occur in large numbers. Females make slits in plants above or below the water level and insert their eggs.


New Zealand, New Caledonia, New Guinea and Indonesia. Throughout Australia.


Larvae are found in bottom sediments or amongst aquatic vegetation. Adults constantly fly over a set area of water or adjacent land.

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