Petalura gigantea

Petalura gigantea, the giant dragonfly[2] or south-eastern petaltail,[3] is one of the world's largest dragonflies, with the males having an abdomen 6-7.5 cm long and a wingspan up to 11 cm, while females have an abdomen 8-9.5 cm long and a wingspan up to 12.5 cm.

Petalura gigantea
Animal locomotion, or Walking, swimming, and flying, with a dissertation on aëronautics (1874) (18194296972).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Infraorder: Anisoptera
Family: Petaluridae
Genus: Petalura
P. gigantea
Binomial name
Petalura gigantea
Leach, 1815[1]
Petalura gigantea distribution map.svg

The giant dragonfly occurs along the east coast of NSW from the Victorian border to northern NSW, and is not found west of the Great Dividing Range. There are known occurrences in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands, in the Clarence River catchment, and on a few coastal swamps from north of Grafton to Nadgee in the south.[2] It is unusual not only in size, but also in having predominantly terrestrial habits at the larval stage. The giant dragonfly is listed as endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.[4][5] This listing was transferred to the equivalent schedules under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (NSW) from August 2017.

Petalura gigantea is a species of dragonfly in the family Petaluridae.[6] Petalura gigantea usually rests in sedges or shrubs while in copula, this usually occurs within a wetland area or an ecosystem based on peat (the accumulation of decayed vegetation or organic matter.[7]

Last stages of metamorphosis


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Leach, William (1815). The zoological miscellany : being descriptions of new, or interesting animals. Vol. 2. London: Printed by B. McMillan for E. Nodder & Son. p. 96. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.41372 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  2. ^ a b "Giant Dragonfly - profile | NSW Environment, Energy and Science".
  3. ^ Theischinger, Günther; Hawking, John (2006). The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia. Collingwood, Victoria, Australia: CSIRO Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-64309-073-6.
  4. ^ "Giant dragonfly (Petalura gigantea) - minor amendment determination".
  5. ^ "Determinations".
  6. ^ "Species Petalura gigantea Leach, 1815". Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study. 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  7. ^ International Journal of Odonatology, 2014 Vol. 17, No. 4, 223–236,

External linksEdit