Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to New Zealand where it is widely distributed throughout the North, South and Stewart Islands from sea-level to sub-alpine habitats (R. Rowe pers. comm. 2011). It is also found throughout the Chatham Islands (M. Marinov pers. comm. 2011).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Preferred habitats for this species included pools, swamp margins and slow-flowing, low gradient streams, and it is even tolerant to salinity. This species is associated with the presence of the rush Juncus (preferred oviposition site). Adults disperse over moderate distances (up to about 1 km). This is the largest species of damselfly found in New Zealand, reaching a length of 40-47 mm (Rowe 1987). It has an average life-cycle of two years, and adults are very long-lived for temperate damselfly species (up to about six months). Emergence season extends from January through February, with the bulk of emergenceoccurringin January.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Rowe, R. & Marinov, M.

Reviewer/s
Brooks, E. & Clausnitzer, V.

Contributor/s

Justification
This is a widespread, very common damselfly species, endemic to New Zealand, where it is widely distributed throughout the North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands from sea-level to sub-alpine habitats. Preferred habitats included pools, swamp margins and slow-flowing, low gradient streams. Exact population size is unknown, however the population is considered stable and there are no known threats affecting this species. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
This is a widespread, very common species. A study at Welshman's Creek (Greymouth, South Island) found an average of 19.6 males per 50 m of shoreline (Crumpton 1975). Exact population size is unknown, however the population is considered stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There has been historical swamp drainage throughout the species range, however this does not appear to have affected the viability of the population, which is now considered stable and abundant. There are no known current threats affecting this species (R. Rowe pers. comm. 2011).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation actions are needed for this species. The taxonomic status of sub-populations requires confirmation.
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Wikipedia

Austrolestes colensonis

Austrolestes colensonis, (Māori: kekewai) is a common native New Zealand damselfly.

It is New Zealand's largest damselfly, and can change the colour of its body to help thermoregulation.[1] Austrolestes colensonis flies between the months of October and May and is usually seen close to still water, rushes and reeds.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Austrolestes colensonis – New Zealand Blue Damselfly". Ray Wilson Bird & Wildlife Photography. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  2. ^ Crowe, Andrew (2002). Which New Zealand Insect?. Penguin Books. p. 78. ISBN 0141006366. 
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