Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Blue damselfly ( Lestidae : Austrolestes )

Diagnostic features

Austrolestes damselfly larvae have long slender legs, a slender abdomen, and the tail gills have rounded tips with no long hairs. The adults are the distinctive blue damselflies often seen flying close to watercourses.

Typical habitats

Austrolestes larvae are common in weedy streams, ponds and lakes throughout New Zealand.


They are predators, feeding on other freshwater invertebrates.

Indicator value

Austrolestes are not useful indicators of water quality as they are common in both polluted and unpolluted waters. They have tolerance values of 6 (hard bottom sites) and 0.7 (soft bottom sites).