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Taxonomic group

Libellulidae: Tramea

Diagnostic features

Tramea dragonfly larvae are best recognised by the very large spines at the end of the abdomen (there are no spines on the dorsal surface of the abdomen). They have more obvious “teeth” on the labial palps (jaw-like structures used to grab prey) than in Diplacodes.

Typical habitats

Tramea larvae are rarely recorded in New Zealand (this species is more common overseas). The larvae are most likely to occur in ponds or wetlands.


They are predators, feeding on other stream invertebrates.

Indicator value

Tramea are so infrequently recorded that they have not been assigned any tolerance values. Being wetland or pond inhabitants makes it unlikely that they would be useful indicators of water quality in streams.