New Zealand Bush Giant Dragonfly, Uropetala carovei

The New Zealand bush giant dragonfly (Uropetala carovei) is a species of dragonfly that is native to New Zealand. It can be found in woodland and scrubland areas with still and isolated water sources like seepage and streams.

The New Zealand bush giant dragonfly reaches an average length of 3.3 inches and is typically black and yellowish in color. It is a slow flier that feeds on insects smaller than itself, like cicadas. After breeding, females lay their eggs in protected areas of water. The larvae that hatch from these eggs will bury themselves in the sand and develop for up to five years, after which time they will emerge during the nighttime and transform into adults.

The New Zealand bush giant dragonfly is relatively abundant throughout its range and holds a stable population. The species as a whole does not have any major threats, but local populations can be threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation and predation by feral cats. No conservation efforts are suggested for the New Zealand bush giant dragonfly and it appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Taken up Bullet Creek Road in Punakaiki. Credit: Ed Mitchell/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)