Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Bush giant dragonfly

Pare - bush giant dragonfly

Pare - bush giant dragonfly

Māori name: kapowai, kakapowai, kapokapowai, titiwaiora, uruururoroa

English name: bush giant dragonfly

Scientific name: Uropetala carovei (White)
order = Odonata; family = Petaluridae

  • is found throughout the two main islands, but rarely in eastern districts.

The adult:

  • is a large yellow and black dragonfly with a body length of about 80-85 mm;
  • often flies slowly and noisily about the edges of bush or scrub;
  • will settle quickly on a nearby surface if the sun is suddenly obscured by dense cloud, possibly even an unsuspecting bystander;
  • male has large, petal-shaped hind appendages.

The nymphs:

  • tunnel into the soft earth of a stream bank or seepage, where they occupy a chamber half-filled with water;
  • are long-lived (perhaps 5 or 6 years);
  • emerge at night to seek prey near the burrow entrance;
  • are sensitive to disturbance so are rarely observed.