Diplacodes bipunctata

 
Common Name:
Wandering Percher, Common Percher, Red Percher
Odonata
Order:
Odonata
Suborder:
Anisoptera
Family:
Libellulidae
Genus:
Diplacodes
Species:
D. bipunctata
Species Description
Diplacodes is a genus of dragonflies in the Libellulidae family. They are commonly known as Perchers. Their colours range from the totally black body of the African D. lefebvrei, the lovely pale blue of India's D. trivialis, to the intense red of the Asian-Australian D. haematodes.

Diplacodes bipunctata (Brauer, 1865), the Wandering Percher, or Common Percher, Red Percher, is a small size dragonfly in genus Diplacodes. 

The mature male has a body length 32mm, has the red eyes, red face, red thorax and red abdomen. Its wings are clear. There are the black heart-shaped markings on each segment of the abdomen. Red or orangey-red flattened abdomen with distinct spots along the mid-dorsal line of the abdomen and a few smaller spots along the abdomen sides. Slight yellow bases to the hindwings. Sides of thorax with two black spots including the metastigma. The immature male colours reddish yellow which help the dragonfly for camouflage when they were living in the bush. After they grow up, they will turn red as a mature male. They will go back to his breeding ground, the creek, to perch and wait for females. 

Males similar to D. melanopsis, which has black eyes, a dark face and three distinct lines of spots running up the mid-dorsal line and sides of the abdomen. Similar to A. nigrescens which differs by having pairs of dagger-shaped forward-pointing black marks on the abdomen. There is another small red dragonfly common in the same area, Scarlet Percher (D. haematodes), that they do not have markings on abdomen.

The female has a body length 32mm, and is sandy yellow with black markings on the abdomen. Brownish-orange abdomen with distinct spots along the mid-dorsal line. Reddish eyes and pale face. Distinct thick pale rectangle along mid-dorsal line of thorax extending down between both sets of wings. Their wings are clear. Females almost identical to both D. haematodes and D. melanopsis. 

The species behaviour is relatively quick often flying sorties from perch positions on the top of grass stems. Habitat is grassy edges of any standing water. They are called Perching Dragonflies, because that is what the male does by spending a considerable amount of time perched in a favourite spot whilst waiting for the females to arrive, which they also seem to do as a group. The males then become most active, not only mating on the wing, but are continually in flight guiding and protecting the female while she lays her eggs.

Wandering Percher females do not lay their eggs on aquatic vegetating like most other dragonflies, but hover with the male just above the water surface, where she quickly dips the tip of her abdomen to release an egg, then moving a short distance to repeat the procedure. They mostly place their eggs in shallow water and can be seen with other couples near the waters edge, or flying parallel to it, stopping at short intervals to drop another.

Wandering Percher females do not lay their eggs on aquatic vegetating like most other dragonflies, but hover with the male just above the water surface, where she quickly dips the tip of her abdomen to release an egg, then moving a short distance to repeat the procedure. They mostly place their eggs in shallow water and can be seen with other couples near the waters edge, or flying parallel to it, stopping at short intervals to drop another.

It is common and widespread, occurs throughout Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and numerous Pacific Islands. Flight period from October to May.
 
 
 
 
 

References:
http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_dragons/CommonPercher.htm
http://www.ecology-solutions.com.au/vic_dragonflies/D_bipunctata.htm

 

 

 

The Species on Stamps
 
Tuvalu
1983.05.25
Fiji
2005.08.30

 

 


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