Tasmanian Darner (Austroaeschna tasmanica), female, on the Edge of Lake Will, Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania Australia.
Image: JJ Harrison
Community type

Aquatic herbland, Succulent herbland

Habitat type

Saltmarsh and tidal flats, Tidal wetlands and macrophytes beds

There are 29 species of dragonfly in Tasmanian, and five are endemic to the State. Dragonflies can be easily recognised by their 2 pairs of wings, and large head and eyes and long thin tail. They are most regularly sighted near wetlands because during their larval stage they are aquatic, but adults may travel many kilometers from water. Nymphs spend almost their entire life underwater and may moult up to 15 times before crawling out onto overhanging rocks or vegetation where they shed their last nymphal skin and emerge as an adult ready to hunt and mate. Dragonflies are carnivorous as both adults and nymphs. Nymphs feed on aquatic animals such as other insects, tadpoles and occasionally fish. Adults hunt by sight and prey on flying insects catching them on the wing with their legs. Mating also usually takes place on the wing. nymphs are food for fish, and adult dragonflies are food for insectivorous reptiles, mammals and birds such as striated field wren, white fronted chats, and red-capped plovers.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.