T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Dragonfly (Bush) Uropetala carovei

Kingdom: Animalia 
Phylum:Arthropoda 
Class:Hexapoda 
Order:Odonata 
Suborder: Epiprocta 
Infraorder: Anisoptera 
Family:Petaluridae 
Genus:Uropetala 
Species: U. carovei 
Binomial name: Uropetala carovei
Common name: Bush Dragonfly, Kapokapowia

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 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.