Common name: New Zealand giant bush dragonfly, kapokapowai (“water snatcher”)
Order: Odonata Family: Petaluridae
Size: 86 mm long, with a wingspan up to 130 mm
Like mayflies, dragonfly larvae are aquatic and live in freshwater streams. The larvae dig tunnels into stream banks and live in the chamber. At night they come out to hunt for prey near the burrow entrance and will live like this for five to six years.
As adults, these dragonflies are one of our largest insects and they are extremely effective aerial predators, feeding on other flying insects. They’re loud flyers so you may hear one buzzing if you’re out near freshwater on sunny days.