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Uropetala carovei

Common Name:
New Zealand Bush Giant Dragonfly
U. carovei
Species Description
Uropetala carovei (White, 1846), or New Zealand bush giant dragonfly (Kapokapowai in the Maori language), is a giant dragonfly of the family Petaluridae, endemic to New Zealand. The Maori name means "water snatcher" alluding to the water dwelling larva, which, like all dragonflies, has a long extendable jaw that shoots out to snatch prey. The species was described by White in 1846 (White and Doubleday 1846) and the type material is held in the British Natural History Museum.

The yellow and black body can be up to 86 mm long, with a wingspan up to 130 mm, making it the largest dragonfly in New Zealand. Males have petal-shaped hind appendages. Its diet is smaller insects, including cicadas. They are preyed on in turn by rats, kingfishers and even wasps. They are slow and noisy fliers.

The nymphs tunnel into the soft earth of a stream bank or seepage, where they occupy a chamber half-filled with water for about five years. They emerge at night to seek prey near the burrow entrance. They are sensitive to disturbance so are rarely observed.

This species is endemic to New Zealand; ranges from North Island and in Marlborough, Nelson, the West Coast, and Southland in the South Island. Although not common, the species appears to be widespread. It has no known threats and is known from over 50 locations therefore IUCN Red List accessed as Least Concern. 





The Species on Stamps
New Zealand



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