Orthetrum villosovittatum

Common Name:
Fiery Skimmer, Bog Skimmer
O. villosovittatum
Species Description
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. 





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