|Orthetrum villosovittatum (Brauer,
1868) is a species of dragonfly that ranges from Victoria through eastern
New South Wales and Queensland, north inland Queensland, the Cape York
Peninsula and north Northern Territory in Australia and overseas as far
as the Moluccas, New Guinea and neighbouring islands. It is a common species
through most of its range.
With a body length around 45 mm,
Orthetrum villosovittatum is a medium sized dragonfly with males having
a bright red body. Males have golden-brown thoraxes and red abdomens, with
the abdomen constricted at segment four. The female has golden thorax and
brown abdomen, with a black line on the back along the top of abdomen.
They have distinctly broadened abdomen and their bodies are distinctively
shorter than their wings span. Immature females have the thorax and eyes
in lighter colour. They become darken when mature. There are the brown
spots near the wing base.
Male identification: Bright red flattened
abdomen pinched in the middle. Dark thorax and eyes. Red face.
Female identification: Orange flattened
abdomen, practically unmarked with just very fine lattice markings. Flat
top of thorax wholly pale, contrasting with dark sides. Distinct pale rectangle
between wings. Dark eyes. Dark orange face.
The species inhabits boggy seepages,
streams and swamps. Males tend to perch in the open and exposed branches,
logs, or sandy shorelines. They spend most of the time at rest. Males are
territorial and will often return to the same spot. They seldom on ground.
Females oviposit alone or in the company of guarding males. She dips the
abdomen in the water for releasing the eggs.
Orthetrum villosovittatum is very
similar to Orthetrum migratum, the males of which don't have a pinched
abdomen (and they aren't known south of Queensland). Female O. villosovittatum
are quite similar to female Crocothemis nigrifrons. Female superficially
similar to Diplacodes but without any spotting. Male could be confused
with D. haematodes which differs by smaller size and bright red eyes and
face. Similarly, N. dalei is tiny in comparison.