|Ischnura heterosticta (Burmeister,
1842), one of at least two species with the common name Common Bluetail,
is a common Australian damselfly of the family Coenagrionidae. It is the
largest of the six Ischnura species in Australia. They are generally found
near slow-running or still water. The species is also salt tolerant. It
flies from October to March.
Ischnura heterosticta is a small
damselfly. Males have body length around 34 mm, strikingly blue and black
with a mostly dark, unringed abdomen except at its very base and the distinct
blue tail tip. Distinct unbroken lateral blue markings on thorax, blue
antehumeral stripe and two obvious postocular spots, one behind each eye.
Eyes bicoloured: black above and blue below.
The females are the same size, have
a variety of forms including green, brown, black, and a form with very
similar colourings to the male. As with other species in this genus, elsewhere
in the world, females have several colour morphs. So far, four types have
been recorded: a green morph; brown morph; purplish morph; and a blue male-like
'andromorph'. All have a distinct antehumeral stripe and the distinct pale
The species is most similar to A.
watsoni but the latter is much smaller, with a green antehumeral stripe
and lacks the postocular spots.