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Taxonomic group

Petaluridae: Uropetala

Diagnostic features

Uropetala is a large dragonfly having a large larva with a long abdomen. The larvae appear heavily armoured (though without spines) and the legs are very hairy. The labial palps (jaw-like structures used to grab prey) lie flat under the head when at rest.

Typical habitats

Uropetala larvae are rarely recorded because they burrow into the mud of wetland margins – habitats that are rarely sampled.


They are predators, feeding on other stream invertebrates.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 5
  • Soft bottom: 0.4

The tolerance values (ranging from 0 to 10) give an indication of which are the sensitive taxa (values of 8 or more) and which are the tolerant taxa (values of 3 or less). For more information see: Indicator species

Uropetala are inhabitants of wetlands rather than streams and they probably have little value as water quality indicators. They have medium to low tolerance values of 5 (hard bottom sites) and 0.4 (soft bottom sites).