Animal of the Month
What's so special about it?
|Decorated Tigertail; Photo by C. Y. Choong|
Dragonflies are often thought of as the hawks of the insect world, and this is especially true for the Decorated Tigertail (Ictinogomphus decoratus). Its large size, bold nature, and speedy manoeuvrability spells quick death for any small invertebrate within its sights. And what sight! Tigertail eyes are perfectly sized and situated to allow a 360-degree view of the world, so that nothing escapes their notice! If by some lucky miracle you manage to sneak up on and capture one, be careful - dragonfly enthusiasts report that this species bites surprisingly hard when rough-handled!
Where can I see one?Decorated Tigertails are one of the most common dragonflies in South-east Asia. They are abundant and widespread around the tropical lagoons, ponds and rivers of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and southern China.
Is there anything similar near Brisbane?Tigertails are found from Africa all the way through to Australia, where there are three species. Only one of them occurs in eastern Australia however, and it is called the Australian Tigertail (Ictinogomphus australis). It is very similar to its South-east Asian relative, but has larger yellow panels on its club tail. I have seen and admired the this lively and beautiful insect in locations such as Bulimba Creek in Brisbane, and Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.
Decorated Tigertail photo courtesy of the blog: Odonata of Peninsular Malaysia